Reducing vulnerability to climate change and enhancing the long-term coping capacities of rural or urban settlements to negative climate change impacts have become urgent issues in developing countries. Developing countries do not have the means to cope with climate hazards and their economies are highly dependent on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, water, and coastal zones. Like most countries in Southern Africa, Zimbabwe suffers from climate-induced disasters. Therefore, this study maps critical aspects required for setting up a strong financial foundation for sustainable climate adaptation in Zimbabwe. It discusses the frameworks required for sustainable climate adaptation finance and suggests the direction for success in leveraging global climate financing towards building a low-carbon and climate-resilient Zimbabwe. The study involved a document review and analysis and stakeholder consultation methodological approach. The findings revealed that Zimbabwe has been significantly dependent on global finance mechanisms to mitigate the effects of climate change as its domestic finance mechanisms have not been fully explored. Results revealed the importance of partnership models between the state, individuals, civil society organisations, and agencies. Local financing institutions such as the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) have been set up. This operates a Climate Finance Facility (GFF), providing a domestic financial resource base. A climate change bill is also under formulation through government efforts. However, numerous barriers limit the adoption of adaptation practices, services, and technologies at the scale required. The absence of finance increases the vulnerability of local settlements (rural or urban) to extreme weather events leading to loss of life and property and compromised adaptive capacity. Therefore, the study recommends an adaptation financing framework aligned to different sectoral policies that can leverage diverse opportunities such as blended climate financing. The framework must foster synergies for improved impact and implementation of climate change adaptation initiatives for the country.
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