ISLAMABAD - International Rescue Committee (IRC) has called upon international donors to allocate at least 35 percent of climate-related budget for WASH raising it from the existing 22 percent for Pakistan and prioritize allocation of WASH and climate-related funding to the countries which are currently unlikely to achieve the WASH SDGs. This was the crux of a research-based ‘Climate Financing for WASH brief – Pakistan Scoping Brief’ undertaken by IRC researchers and was launched at a ceremony jointly organized by the IRC and the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here. The launch was followed by a Panel discussion on Climate Financing for WASH. Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) is a pillar of climate resilience that needs adequate funding as currently, the WASH sector receives 22 percent of the total climate funding. The study calls upon international donors to allocate at least 35 percent of climate-related budget for WASH raising it from the existing 22 percent for Pakistan and prioritize allocation of WASH and climate-related funding to the countries which are currently unlikely to achieve the WASH SDGs. The IRC Country Director Shabnam Baloch said, “WASH is critical entry point to reducing community vulnerability to climate impacts, closing gender gaps, health and education disparity, economic inclusion and progress. Climate resilient WASH goes beyond climate infrastructure and is critical in climate induced disasters.” She further noted that while Pakistan needs $7-14 billion annually till 2050 for adaptation alone, there is a dire need to address impediments such as complexity of process in accessing climate financing by CSOs, resource intensive nature of issue and lack of community engagement during project development. Giving an overview on the climate financing mechanism, SDPI’s Head of Sustainability and Resilience Programme Dr Shafqat Munir Ahmad observed: “Despite constraints in accessing climate financing from multilateral donors, bilateral partnerships and private sector organisations, both the government and non-government organizations in Pakistan have been struggling to get the country’s share in highly competitive climate financing market amid cumbersome processes”. He further noted that the funding Pakistan has received is inadequate against Pakistan’s climate financing requirements which run in billions of US dollars annually. As of 2022, Pakistan has been able to access about $ 131 million from the GCF through inter-mediatory funding, $ 426 million from GEF, and $ 10 million from Climate Adaptation Fund. Only 10 percent of these funds have been allocated for the WASH sector. The Country Director Water Aid Pakistan, Arif Jabbar Khan stressed that we need to increase awareness on financial losses due to poor WASH conditions at household level. He said that funds acquired are not properly spent which demonstrates the low absorption capacity within CSOs, and at government level. He suggested that while water scarcity is being flagged, quality must also be prioritized.