Low disbursement of funds
In the May sub-committee meeting, concerns were raised about “the slowdown in submission of projects and programmes for PPCR funding approval and the low disbursement of PPCR funds.” The sub-committee requested “the MDBs and the countries to make concerted efforts to accelerate project development and implementation.” Furthermore, the sub-committee restated that any investment plan that has not received approval for all its projects and programme after 24 months must submit a revision, noting that five pilot countries (Bangladesh, Niger, Tajikistan, Grenada and Samoa) have already reached this stage, and another seven will reach this stage within six months.
An expression of interest to join PPCR from Belize was discussed, and the country was invited to make a presentation on its preparation of an investment plan in the October meeting. In the meeting the sub-committee will also discuss requests received from other countries interested in participating (see page 4), “while noting the importance of not raising expectations among interested countries as to the availability of additional funds and the continued progress on operationalising the Green Climate Fund”. This is a reference to the CIF ‘sunset clause’, requiring CIF to close its operations once a new architecture for climate finance is effective. Furthermore, it emphasised the importance of first and foremost implementing existing projects and programmes.
Funding for civil society engagement in Cambodia
A grant management facility for Cambodian CSOs has been developed by the Cambodian government, with the World Bank, the ADB and Hatfield consultants, based on “feedback and requirements of CSOs”. Key objectives of the funding include to “help communities to coordinate better and better understand their sources of vulnerabilities” and “to capture lessons learned from community-based initiatives”. It is expected that 30-50 grants, ranging from $30,000 – $75,000, will be awarded to Cambodian civil society for 12-24 month periods. Grants application guidelines will be developed by the facility.
Graph 1: Funding for the Strategic Climate Fund. Covers the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR), Forest Investment Program (FIP) and Scaling up Renewable Energy Program in Low Income Countries (SREP).
Private sector projects get green light
Concept notes from Dominica, Haiti, Jamaica, Mozambique, Saint Lucia, Tajikistan and one multi-country proposal for Zambia, Niger and Mozambique were submitted for the new private sector set-aside, to be discussed in the October meeting (see CIFs Monitor 7). The majority of proposals target private sector clients through the MDB’s private sector arms. Only one proposal requested grant resources. An independent expert group appointed in August has assessed the proposals and fully recommended two EBRD projects from Tajikistan, one on the energy sector and one on a small business financing facility. Furthermore, an AfDB project on forestry from Mozambique and IDB projects from Jamaica (on urban household water), Saint Lucia (on the agriculture sector) and Haiti (on an agricultural supply chain) were “recommended with conditions”. Two of the remaining proposals (an AfDB regional private sector project and an IBRD project on community adaptation from Dominica) were asked to resubmit after further development, and the remainder, all from Dominica, were not recommended.
Furthermore, in the May meeting the CIF administrative unit and the MDBs were asked to “prepare further analysis of lessons and good practices to engage the private sector in strengthening climate resilience”, including “an exchange of experiences on this issue among the MDBs, bilateral and other stakeholders”. However, this is not on the agenda of the October meeting.
Bangladesh: coastal embankment and private sector projects approved
In late April, the sub-committee approved by mail $25 million in grants for a coastal embankment improvement project, with $272,000 for IBRD implementation and supervision services. Prior to approval Australia welcomed the project but requested that “the resettlement action plan … effectively implements environmental and social safeguard procedures”. This was supported by the UK, Spain and Germany who also commented that “it needs to be ensured that the population in the project area has a key role in the design and implementation of specific activities in their communities”, and that gender aspects should be reflected “more strongly” in the results framework, which the IBRD agreed with and amended accordingly.
A $3.4 million IFC project to provide technical assistance for a project on climate-resilient agriculture and food security and a project on climate-resilient housing was approved by mail in July. The UK welcomed the agriculture project, as “bringing a much needed private sector focus on the agriculture sector”, but also raised issues, such as clarity on “what the business model for private sector engagement really is and how the private sector will make its profit margins”. Germany and Spain suggested further improvements, such as applying a “gender-sensitive approach also to the impact level, so as to track effectively how women and men benefit from the project activities.” The US raised concerns, including a call for focussing on non-rice cereals due to an already existing multi-partner project on rice. In response to the concerns the IFC clarified that they will look for synergies with other project, and that the project preparation included “extensive stakeholder consultations and focus group discussions with farmers, private and public sector”. Moreover: “Business opportunities for private sector agribusiness companies … were also taken into consideration”.
Cambodia: land and resettlement concerns in agriculture project
In March, the sub-committee approved by mail $4.5 million in grants and $5 million in loans for a business-focussed agriculture adaptation project, with $232,500 for ADB implementation and supervision services. Prior to approval, Germany and Spain cautioned that “substantial concerns remain, particularly related to issues of land policy and land management, to the project’s expected impact on poorer families, and to the use of PPCR funds”. They stated they “see a certain risk for these funds to be used to merely finance an expansion of on-going, rather conventional investment activities.” They further noted, “In view of the fact that the target beneficiaries are rice-producers capable of producing marketable rice surplus, the impacts on poorer families and poverty reduction … seem to be inflated, because poorer families generally have smaller land resources and irrigated areas”. The UK advocated for transparency around land management and expressed “particular concerns … about the references to resettlement and the lack of clear measures to address the associated risks” and called for an assessment of the likelihood of involuntary resettlement. The ADB agreed that the resettlements concerns “are valid” and have been addressed under ADB safeguards.
Nepal: grant for watershed project
In early August, the sub-committee approved $23.5 million in grants for a watersheds project, with $488,000 for ADB implementation and supervision services. Prior to approval, the UK noted that the document did not make any reference to either Nepal’s National Adaptation Programme of Action or Local Adaptation Plan of Action. It also expressed surprise that there were no outcomes or indicators related to food security, despite that “food security is a huge problem in the proposed project districts”. The UK also advised that the project should include conflict resolution approaches, given that access to water can be a source of conflict. Germany also asked for clarifications, including how the “new” watershed planning approach sets apart from conventional watershed management planning. No response from the ADB was publically available at the time of writing.
Zambia: river basin project numbers scrutinised
A project to strengthen climate resilience in a river basin was approved by mail in September, with $20.5 million in grants and $17.5 million in loans in additional PPCR resources, together with approval of a final tranche of $390,000 for AfDB project implementation and supervision services. On co-financing the UK noted that it “includes other Zambia SPCR projects, and while it is good that these projects are well coordinated it is perhaps misleading to list these as co-finance”. It also asked for clarification of discrepancies on numbers, since the document referred to 800,000 communities supported in one place and 800,000 people in another place. The US questions included clarification on “the need for $410,000 to purchase 4WD vehicles, $140,000 for motorcycles and $760,000 for vehicle [operations & maintenance].” Spain and Germany raised particular concerns regarding “the lack of sufficient involvement” of relevant ministries. No response from the AfDB was publically available at the time of writing.
Samoa: coastal communities resettlement questions
In early October, $14.6 million in grants, as well as an additional allocation of $5 million agreed in the November 2012 meeting (see CIFs Monitor 7), was approved by mail for a project “to support coastal communities to become more resilient to climate variability and change.” Furthermore, a final tranche of $400,000 was approved for IBRD project implementation and supervision services. Prior to approval the UK raised concerns “about the references in the project to involuntary resettlement”, and asked for further details including “a thorough assessment of what the risks and social and political implications are”, which was seconded by Australia. Germany and Spain put forward a number of recommendations, including that the 30 per cent target of female beneficiaries should be raised, since “women make up around 50 per cent of the population”.
Bolivia: river basins project approved after delay
After a long delay an integrated river basin management project with $9.5 million in grants and $36 million in loans was approved in early October, together with a final tranche of $475,000 to the IBRD for project implementation and supervision services. The delay was partly caused by the UK having several conversations with the IBRD reiterating concerns, including that the unit set up to manage the project “may not have the mandate to ensure an impact on planning at the national level”, which they considered of particular importance since the size of the project “is particularly large by PPCR standards”. Australia strongly supported “the proposed participation by the poor, indigenous groups and women” and asked for more information and articulation on how they would be involved in the consultation process in this project. It also noted concerns about institutional capacity. Germany raised concerns about the “moderate to low level of ambition” of the project indicators reflecting the PPCR core indicators, to which the IBRD responded that they will try to reformulate some of the indicators.
Yemen: climate information systems grant approval
In March, $19 million in grants were approved by mail for a project on climate information systems and PPCR programme coordination, including $486,500 for IBRD implementation and supervision services. Germany raised concerns regarding the long-term viability of the project, and called for indicators to be strengthened, including the gender indicators, which was taken onboard. The UK asked for political and security risks to be addressed. It also questioned the high proportion of costs on supervision services, consultancy and training, and asked for further breakdown. The IBRD and Yemen responded in late April referring to “the great need to improve capacity of all stakeholders”, as well as the need for “highly specialised consultancy services” to develop the technical design.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: airport development questioned
In early October, an additional allocation of $5 million, as agreed in the November 2012 meeting (see CIFs Monitor 7), was approved for a regional disaster vulnerability programme, with an additional tranche of $100,000 for project implementation and supervision services for the IBRD. Spain and Germany noted that the proposal included “additional resources to be dedicated to support the ‘development of the new airport, which will support long-term resiliency and economic growth’… While we acknowledge the importance of an international airport … it will be essential to demonstrate how the PPCR support differs from a conventional infrastructure project. To this end, we recommend clarifying in the project proposal what kind of adaptation activities this support comprises, and most importantly, how the development of the airport will further advance the objectives of the SPCR.” No response was publically available at the time of writing.
Tonga: infrastructure resilience projects approved
As agreed in the November 2012 meeting (see CIFs Monitor 7), an additional $5 million was granted to Tonga in late August, for evacuation and post disaster roads and coastal protection. Furthermore, $19.25 million was approved in early October for a project to strengthen capacity “of government and communities to finance, develop, implement and monitor investments to improve ecosystem resilience and climate proof critical infrastructure”, together with $199,400 in a final tranche to the ADB for project implementation and supervision services. The UK welcomed the proposal, but asked for more clarification on the potential consequences of the involuntary resettlement safeguard being triggered. Germany raised “some concerns regarding the project’s expected outcome and impact” and that “gender issues should feature more prominently in the project’s hierarchy of objectives and at the higher levels of its design and monitoring framework.”
Haiti: SPCR approved
Haiti’s SPCR was approved in the May sub-committee meeting, noting $25 million in requested grant funding. It also approved a first tranche of funding for MDB preparation and supervision services, with $240,000 for an IBRD project on infrastructure, $250,000 for an IBRD project on coastal cities, $470,000 for an IBRD project on water resources, and $250,000 for an IDB project on agriculture.
Tajikistan: energy sector project approved
An $11 million energy sector resilience project was approved in August, together with $175,000 to EBRD for project implementation and supervision services. Germany and Spain recommended “arrangements to ensure that the enhanced production of electric energy translates into increased availability to local users instead of increased export rates.” They also called for gender aspects to be reflected in the results framework.