GCA supports integration of resilience into Second Kenya Urban Support Programme

N airobi, Kenya – 13 May 2024 – The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA), in partnership with the Government of Kenya and the World Bank, has announced its support for integrating climate adaptation initiatives into the Second Kenya Urban Support Programme (KUSP2). With financial backing of $350 million from the World Bank, KUSP2 is set to strengthen urban planning practices and capacities, and resilience across Kenya’s rapidly expanding secondary cities. The programme’s focus extends to improving urban infrastructure, governance, and financing mechanisms, ensuring that Kenya’s urbanization is both inclusive and sustainable.
GCA’s involvement brings expertise and resources aimed at enhancing the climate resilience components of the program. This includes strengthening the capacity of municipal officials to manage urban growth and support scaling up nature-based solutions for urban resilience. All of this with an eye toward environmental sustainability and social inclusiveness. It’s expected that every US$1 invested in the program will lead to US$1,000 being influenced to bring the best adaptation solutions to Africa. 
President William Ruto, speaking at the official launch of the program in Nairobi, emphasized the critical importance of this program in supporting Kenya’s transformation agenda. “We shall now proceed to actualize our ambition of wholistically achieving sustainable urban development by enhancing the resilience of infrastructure and services, engaging the private sector in urban planning and development [….] With their tremendous contributions to the GDP, urban areas are significant economic engines and centers of technological development and innovation.” said President Ruto.
“By collaborating with local governments and international partners, we aim to equip Kenyan cities with the tools to become resilient in the face of climate risks and thrive in an era of climate uncertainty,” noted Professor Patrick V. Verkooijen, CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation. “Our focus is on building a sustainable framework that not only addresses current needs but also anticipates future challenges.”
Key components of GCA’s involvement in KUSP2 include:

  • Guideline Review: Collaborating with AECOM to review and enhance guidelines that address climate risks within the urban planning process, ensuring gaps in capacity are identified and addressed.
  • Customized Training Modules: Developing and implementing Kenya-specific modules within the urban resilience master class. This will bolster the capabilities of key municipal officials and the Project Implementation Unit (PIU), enabling them to effectively manage and mitigate urban climate risks.
  • Climate Data Integration: Creating a robust system to link climate data with investment planning. This involves partnerships with local institutions such as the University of Nairobi, Kenya Meteorological Department and IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre to foster a localized understanding of climate risks at the country level.
  • Nature-based solutions (NbS) for urban resilience: Undertaking an extensive scan of existing NbS products, focusing particularly on those that are applicable on a large scale for urban resilience. This will pave the way for the creation of a specialized, country-specific technical solutions catalog. This catalogue will serve as a critical resource for key sector stakeholders, offering a variety of urban NbS options to enhance climate resilience within large-scale programs.

The comprehensive approach to urban development through KUSP2 will set a precedent for other nations in the region, showcasing how strategic planning and international cooperation can effectively address the multifaceted challenges of urbanization and climate change.
Notes to Editors
About the Global Center on Adaptation
The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) is an international organization that promotes adaptation to the impacts of climate change. It works to climate-proof development by instigating policy reforms and influencing investments made by international financial institutions and the private sector. The goal is to bring climate adaptation to the forefront of the global fight against climate change and ensure that it remains prominent. Founded in 2018, GCA embodies innovation in its approach to climate adaptation as well as in its physical presence. It operates from the largest floating office in the world, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. GCA has a worldwide network of regional offices in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; Dhaka, Bangladesh; and Beijing, China. The Center will open a new office in Nairobi, Kenya in 2025.

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