Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established in 1991 as an independently operating financial organization that provides project grants for developing countries.
The GEF provides grants for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants. The GEF unites 182 countries in partnership with international institutions, NGOs, civil society organizations, and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives.
Today, the GEF is the largest public funder of projects to improve the global environment. Since 1991, the GEF has achieved a strong track record with developing countries and countries with economies in transition, providing $12.5 billion in grants and leveraging $58 billion in co-financing for over 3,690 projects in over 165 countries.
The GEF has a unique governing structure organized around an Assembly, the Council, the Secretariat, 18 Agencies, a Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) and the Evaluation Office. It serves as a financial mechanism for several environmental conventions. GEF Agencies are responsible for creating project proposals and for managing GEF projects. Some GEF Agencies include United Nations Development Program, United Nations Environment Program, World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Fund for Agricultural Development.