UNDP Supports Eswatini Budget Reforms to Integrate Climate Change

April 27, 2022

Participants of the IBFCC to integrate climate change into its national budget processes pose with UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Rose Ssebatindira.

UNDP is providing technical support for Eswatini to integrate climate change into its national budget processes as the country continues to experience severe climate impacts such as droughts and floods.

Under the Inclusive Budgeting and Financing for Climate Change in Africa (IBFCCA) project, UNDP has deployed experts to the country to support the government and partners in developing a system that incorporates climate change programmes into the national budget.

Addressing participants at the official opening of the IBFCC three-day inception workshop at Esibayeni Lodge, Matsapha, on 27 April, UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Rose Ssebatindira, commended Eswatini for taking this step adding that aligning national budgetary systems will place the country in a good position to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.

“This calls for the mainstreaming of tools and approaches rather than establishing climate change as a separate sector or budget programme with a distinct funding allocation,” said Ssebatindira. She added that the budgetary reforms will also improve Eswatini’s access to international climate and development finance.

The IBFCC builds on the Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review (CPEIR) which was conducted under Eswatini’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), a climate action plan aligned with the Paris Agreement.  The UNDP Climate Promise Project supported the NDC revision process and, currently, the NDC Implementation Plan development. The CPEIR, developed under the NDC process, has provided a useful roadmap for climate integration budget reforms and the IBFCC project will take this forward with ultimately developing climate budget codes for the national budget.

Ssebatindira noted that UNDP in collaboration with the government and partners is also implementing its Country Programme (2021-2025) which considers the national priorities.

“It is against this background that I believe that this is the most opportune time for Eswatini to mainstream climate change into its national budget,” she said.

Speaking at the same event, Acting Director Budget at the Ministry of Finance, Ms. Khanyisile Dlamini, said the IBFCC will provide the government with a flexible and practical approach to better integrate climate change into long-term national policies and plans.

“As the Ministry of Finance, we play a key role in economic development while ensuring fiscal prudence in public spending and macroeconomic stability,” said Dlamini. “Equally, the government intends to prioritise public investment in climate change adaptation forums with positive externalities, address market imperfections and policies, which make private sector adaption to climate change inefficient.”

She said the government’s priority is to ensure that adaptation to climate change is part of a holistic development strategy involving both the public and private sector responses.

She acknowledged the devastating impacts of climate-related disasters such as the 2015/16 El Nino-induced drought and the 2021 Cyclone Eloise adding that the programme for adaptation to climate change is a necessity for the country.

“The Ministry of Finance is happy to be part of this workshop to enhance our understanding so that we can be able to put this into our fiscal policy and demonstrate our commitment to the response to climate change,” said Dlamini.

The participants of this workshop were drawn from the government, private sector, development partners, and civil society organizations.