Bangladesh is one of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world. Rising global temperatures are likely to increase the frequency and intensity of cyclones in the Bay of Bengal as well as monsoon rainfall, resulting in catastrophic floods in the Ganges – Brahmaputra- Meghna Basin. Sea level rise and the consequent coastal flooding and saline intrusion into aquifers constitute serious threats. The challenge of climate change – worsened /aggravated by the country‘s high population density – is significant in view of the likely impact on people‘s livelihoods. It also impacts on Bangladesh‘s capacity to improve its medium-term growth performance and thereby lift some 55 million people out of poverty.
Over the last three decades, the country has invested heavily in adaptation measures. As a result, Bangladesh‘s ability to manage disasters, in particular, floods and cyclones, has improved dramatically since 1991. With a view to building a medium- to long-term program for enhancing resilience to climate shocks and facilitating low carbon and sustainable growth, Bangladesh launched its first Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan at the UK-Bangladesh Climate Change Conference in London in September, 2008. This was later updated in 2009. In the wake of the London conference, a multi-donor trust fund for climate change was proposed as a modality for the development partners to support Bangladesh in implementing the Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (CCSAP). Thus, the Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund (henceforth referred to as BCCRF), with contribution from bilateral donors was set up in May 2010 following the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding.
About the Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund (BCCRF)
BCCRF was established in May 2010 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Bangladesh, development partners and the World Bank. This innovative mechanism is enabling the Government to channel US$ 170 million in grant funds to millions of Bangladeshis in order to build their resilience to the effects of climate change. The trust fund contribution from the development partners at present stands as Denmark (US$1.2 million), the European Union (US$37 million), Sweden (US$13 million), and the United Kingdom (US$95 million), Switzerland (US$ 3.4 million), AusAID ( US $ 7 million) and USAID (US $ 13 million). There are no special conditions attached to the disbursement of the fund by the donors or by the World Bank. It is envisaged that 84.6% of the total activities funded by the BCCRF will be implemented by Government institutions, 10% by NGOs and other civil society organizations under the community-based program and 2% by the Bank to provide analytical work and technical assistance under CCSAP’s fourth and sixth pillars. The World Bank charges, in total, 3.4% for overall trust fund and project management.
Distinctive role of the Government and the World Bank
BCCRF is managed and implemented by the Government of Bangladesh. A technical assistance portion of the BCCRF is executed by the World Bank with agreement of the Government of Bangladesh. On behalf of the contributing donors, and in consultation with the Government, the World Bank is, for a limited duration, ensuring due diligence requirements on the BCCRF (including fiduciary management, transparency and accountability) and ensuring projects are implemented with due regard to economy, efficiency and effectiveness.
Objective of the Fund
The objective of the Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund (BCCRF) is to support the implementation of Bangladesh’s Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (CCSAP). The CCSAP has identified six main pillars:
(i) Food security, social safety and health;
(ii) Comprehensive disaster management;
(iii) Develop climate proof Infrastructure;
(iv) Research and knowledge management;
(v) Mitigation and low carbon development;
(vi) Capacity building.
How is BCCRF governed?
BCCRF has a two tier governance system: A Governing Council (it can be linked to an excerpt on the functions of the GC copied from the implementation manual) which provides overall strategic direction and guidance to BCCRF and ensures its alignment with the CCSAP. The Management Committee (with a click will open to a page on the dynamics of the MC copied from the Implementation manual) is responsible for the work programme, ensuring that the BCCRF is implemented in line with the agreed implementation manual and consider grant requests submitted by various line ministries and other eligible institutions. Both the Governing Council and the Management Committee are chaired by the Government and includes representatives from line ministries, Development Partners and Civil Society.
As a start, the World Bank has been providing support to the day-to-day operations of the BCCRF. However, this responsibility is gradually going to transition to a Secretariat that will be established at the Ministry of Environment and Forests. The Bank team will work closely with the Ministry of Environment and Forests to build the capacity of the Secretariat. The Secretariat will be responsible for providing support to the Governing Council and Management Committee, provide advocacy, communication and coordination support to all agencies implementing activities funded by BCCRF.