Strengthening the resilience of smallholder farmers in the Dry Zone to climate variability and extreme events through an integrated approach to water management

Lead country

Sri Lanka

Participating countries

Sri Lanka

Project status

Under implementation

Implementing period

From July 7, 2017 to March 28, 2025

SDGs addressed by this project

SDG targets

  1. 1.5 Build resilience of poor to climate, shocks
  2. 13.1 Strengthen resilience, adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards

Project ID: 5752

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Technical team

  • Climate Change Adaptation Programme

Technical area(s)

  • Cross-sectoral climate resilient livelihoods
  • Climate resilient integrated water resource and coastal management


  • Human altered areas


  • Rural areas

Transformed sector(s)

  • Agriculture

UNDP role(s)

  • Capacity development / Technical assistance
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Institutional mechanism and system building


  • Capacity building
  • Technology innovation


  • Technical capacity building
  • Institutional capacity building
  • Community capacity building
  • Integrated water resource management
  • Sustainable agriculture practices and use of resources (TP 2, 7, 8, 9)
  • Climate resilience for FAC system (TP 6)
  • Improved soil and water management techniques

Social inclusion

  • Women
  • Smallholder farmers
  • Local community/CSOs

Gender equality

  • Livelihoods for women
  • Women farmers

Gender result effectiveness scale



  • People pathway
  • Sci-tech pathway

Risk reduction target(s)

  • Improve resilience

SDG target(s)

  • 1.5 Build resilience of poor to climate, shocks
  • 13.1 Strengthen resilience, adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards

Conventions and protocols


Private sector(s)


Hot topic

  • Poverty reduction
  • Food and agricultural commodities strategy

About this project


The proposed project supports the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) to strengthen the resilience of vulnerable smallholder farmers in the country's Dry Zone; particularly women, who are facing increasing risks of rising temperatures, erratic rainfall, and extreme events attributable to climate change. It will address technical, financial and institutional barriers related to achieving integrated water management to improve agriculture-based livelihoods of smallholder farmers in the Dry Zone. GCF resources, in conjunction with government co-financing, will invest in improving the community irrigation water infrastructure and associated agricultural practices, scaling-up decentralized drinking water systems, and strengthening Early Warnings (EWs) and forecasting for flood-response and water management. The objective of the project is to strengthen the resilience of smallholder farmers, particularly women, in the Dry Zone through improved water management to enhance lives and livelihoods. The expected key Fund Level (GCF) impacts are increased resilience of health and well-being, and food and water security and increased resilience and enhanced livelihoods of the vulnerable smallholder farmers in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka. The primary measurable benefits include resilient water and agricultural management for 770,500 direct beneficiaries and 1,179,800 indirect beneficiaries who will gain from improved water management, resilient agriculture practices, and provision of climate and weather information.


The proposed project contributes to climate-resilient water resources development in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka through the sustained impact of project measures that have high potential for replicability and scale. Overall, the project will contribute to the Fund level impacts of Increased resilience and enhanced livelihoods of the most vulnerable people, communities, and regions and Increased resilience of health and wellbeing, and food and water security. Combined with government co-financing, GCF resources will support an integrated approach to strengthening the resilience of smallholder farmers in the Dry Zone through three inter-related outputs contributing to climate smart water management. The interventions will directly benefit 704,000 people in three river basins and indirectly benefit at least 840,000 more people living and working in agriculture in the associated districts benefiting from improved access to climate information and early warnings and improved agricultural service delivery. The main outputs of the proposed project are (i) strengthened village irrigation infrastructure and capacities of smallholder farmers for climate-resilient water management and agriculture; (ii) improved access to safe and reliable drinking water through supply systems able to withstand climate change and variability; and (iii) strengthened capacity of Dry Zone farmers to use weather and climate information for agricultural and water management. This integrated approach contributes to strengthened adaptive capacities and improved water security among smallholder farmers in the Dry Zone, a key priority under the Intended National Development Contribution of Sri Lanka to climate change adaptation.

USD $38,084,000

Grant amount

USD $14,000,000

Leveraged amount (co-financing)


Source(s) of fund

Sources of fund


  • Green Climate Fund Common ($38,084,000)

Implementing partner(s)

  • Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment

Project metrics

Related resources

Geospatial information

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Project reports and documentation