East Asia and Pacific remains the world’s growth engine despite a challenging external environment, with developing economies growing by 7.2% in 2013. The proportion of people living in poverty in the region has steadily declined—less than 10% of the population lives on $1.25 a day—but much more needs to be done as there are still close to half a billion people living on $2 a day.
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ResultsThe growing strategic commitment of the World Bank to DRM is reflected in the number of Country Assistance/Partnership Strategies (CASs/CPSs) that now consider disaster and climate risks in the... Show More +ir approach to development. Of all the active CASs in FY13, 85 percent recognized natural hazards as a challenge to sustainable development, up from 46 percent in 2006.The Bank has played a pivotal role in the development of innovative disaster risk financing solutions. Through innovative instruments and investments, assistance from International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and International Development Association (IDA) has provided support for countries exposed to adverse natural events. For example, the world’s first regional disaster financing facility, the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), was established in 2007. In addition to technical assistance in the establishment of the facility, the World Bank financed the cost of joining the facility for a number of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries, and contributed to the Multi-Donor Trust Fund. Within two weeks of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, CCRIF transferred US$8 million to provide immediate liquidity to the government.Building on the CCRIF example, the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative (PCRAFI) is operationalizing the results of an extensive risk assessment across 15 Pacific nations. The World Bank is currently advising more than 40 countries on financial protection options. An example Colombia, which is implementing standardized insurance policies for its public buildings in order to improve the quality of coverage and to reduce premiums since 2012. The government is now putting in place standardized insurance contracts for infrastructure concessions (totaling US$38 billion in the next 5 years). The World Bank/GFDRR, with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and European Union (EU) partners, has scaled up its support to disaster-hit countries, including drought-prone countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MNA) and in Africa. It has supported governments conduct Post-Disaster Needs Assessments (PDNAs) following the severe drought crisis affecting the Horn of Africa and the Sahel regions.. In Djibouti in 2011, the timely PDNA to the four-year drought that affected more than 120,000 people and caused an estimated economic loss of $96 million facilitated the mobilization of US$13 million for drought mitigation. This program is currently supporting the development of a $5 million productive national safety net program, increasing access of rural communities to water.The World Bank has helped build the capacity of national and local governments in the Philippines to carry out their own post-disaster assessments. Building on this support, the government of the Philippines was able to conduct its own post-disaster assessment following Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. A World Bank technical assistance team assisted with a rapid assessment of damage to infrastructure and other critical assets. The World Bank is also assisting the government in designing a comprehensive recovery and reconstruction plan following the principles of building back better, and to establish a reconstruction monitoring system. Rapid mobilization enabled the World Bank to release a $500 million Development Policy Loan within a few weeks of the disaster. Reducing floods in Colombo, Sri Lanka, at the request of the government, the World Bank supported Colombo’s transformation under the Metro Colombo Urban Development Project (MCUDP), which was approved in March 2012. This project led to multiple economic and social benefits. Nearly 1.6 million people benefited from flood mitigation measures, including about 220,000 people living in the Municipal Council areas of Colombo, Dehiwela-Mt Lavinia, Sri Jayawardenapura-Kotte, and Kolonnawa.Other IBRD financial instruments customized for DRM include the development policy loan (DPL) with a Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat-DDO), which is an ex ante contingent financing instrument available for IBRD countries. Of the sixteen DRM-related DPLs the World Bank has approved since 2008, eight included a CAT-DDO to enhance the capacity of governments to manage the impact of natural disasters. Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and the Philippines have drawn down funds from the instrument, in payouts of US$150 million, US$24 million, US$50 million, US$85 million and US$500 million respectively, to engage in immediate post-disaster recovery and reconstruction activities.Bank Group ContributionThe World Bank DRM portfolio has grown from $2.0 billion in FY10, to $3.8 billion in FY13. Of particular significance is the high proportion of IDA funding in FY13 (64 percent), reflecting the effective mainstreaming of DRM-related activities in IDA operations. DRM activities accounted for 11.1 percent of the total combined IBRD and IDA-approved commitments in FY13 – an increase from the 1984-2005 average of 9.4 percent.Of all regions, Africa registered the most consistent growth in DRM operations, with East Asia and Pacific, Latin America and Caribbean, and South Asia also surpassing $500 million in FY13.These operations have built-in resilience measures as core components of the project design in an effort to mainstream DRM into development. New IDA investments have been triggered by large-scale disasters of recent times. Furthermore, emergency recovery loans financed by both IDA and IBRD have been approved to restore public services and infrastructure in the wake of recent disasters. However, there is still more to be done to integrate an assessment of disaster risks systematically into the design and implementation of World Bank-financed projects.The disaster risk management and climate adaptation portfolios are increasingly aligned. In FY13, 80 percent of approved WBG operations with climate adaptation co-benefits also had DRM benefits. The two disciplines had a combined portfolio of US$4.4 billion. The institutional alignment between the two disciplines is expected to increase in the future, due to the emphasis placed in IDA-17 on climate change and disaster risk management, the growing confluence of international financing sources, and the introduction of the new Global Practices at the WBG. Show Less -
ChallengeUncertainty about land ownership and occupancy rights not only complicates development planning for governments, it can also increase vulnerability, especially of poor and marginalized groups... Show More +. Moreover, it undermines incentives to take actions that are essential to improving incomes and conserving scarce resources over the longer term. Many countries face a common set of challenges, for which country-specific solutions need to be developed: (i) incomplete or outdated legal and regulatory frameworks; (ii) rigid land tenure classifications which do not reflect all local ethnic, cultural and legal traditions; (iii) dispersion and overlap of responsibilities across different institutions; (iv) outdated technology that makes land demarcation, regularization and titling a lengthy and expensive process; (v) poor integration of relevant land information systems; (vi) limited accessibility to critical land administration services, including conflict resolution, by some portions of the population; (vii) inadequate mechanisms to ensure transparency, good governance, citizen participation and recourse in the various phases of land administration, from demarcation to titling and enforcement. Also, to get the best results from modernizing land administration systems, governments often need to make related public investments. For example, providing legal clarity about the boundaries of indigenous peoples lands and protected areas has to be accompanied by comprehensive and meaningful consultations with affected groups, strengthened monitoring and enforcement, and changing incentives for investment at the local level. Likewise, providing land titles can improve small farmers’ and entrepreneurs’ incentives to invest, but credit programs also have to be available and accessible to them.In addition, the continued increase in food prices and cultivation of lands for bio-fuel uses has prompted a sharp increase in commercial pressure on cropland, grasslands, forested areas and water resources in both developed and emerging countries.Two principles of land tenure policy stand out in the quest for growth and poverty reduction: • The importance of tenure security. Security of property rights (whether through titling or customary use) and the ability to draw on local or national authorities to enforce those rights are central to preserving livelihoods, maintaining social stability, and increasing incentives for investment and for sustainable productive land use. • Land access and transferability of rights. Allowing some measure of transferability of land rights, depending on the particular country or tenure regime circumstances, allows the landless to access land through sales and rental markets or through public transfers, and further increases productive investment incentives. SolutionFor over four decades, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA) have provided support to member countries for public investments in strengthening land policies and administration systems. The earliest programs in the late 1960s focused on land demarcation and titling in specific geographic areas, usually as part of broader land settlement or rural development programs. In the nine states of northeast Brazil, IBRD supported demarcation and titling of over half a million hectares under several rural development projects.By the mid-1980s, the focus began to shift from securing rights in particular areas to modernizing land administration systems at the national level. One of the first and most ambitious of such efforts was the Thailand Land Titling Program. Since the mid-1990s, the World Bank has scaled up support significantly to help 19 countries of East Europe and the former Soviet Union and several Southeast Asian countries make the transition from state ownership of property and land under command economies to private ownership under market-based economies. Elsewhere, the World Bank has continued to support both modernization of land administration systems at the national level, and targeted help to specific problem areas, such as undocumented squatter settlements, indigenous lands, coastal marine zones and other environmentally sensitive areas of national or global importance. The World Bank supports and consistently recommends government policies that implement systematic land surveying and titling programs that recognize all forms of land tenure: public and private; formal and customary, including those of pastoralists or others with weak formal rights; collective and individual, including women’s rights; and rural and urban. At the same time, respect for customary and traditional land rights should be looked at dynamically, focusing on the shortcomings (for example, women’s access to land) and striking a balance between what needs to be preserved and what needs to be changed. The World Bank approach emphasizes policy dialogue, research, public investments and operational support for the resolution of land tenure issues. The World Bank also facilitates the sharing of best practices across countries and regions. In addition to project-specific support, the World Bank continues to use its technical expertise to work with governments to strengthen their land administration institutions and assess the overall land policy framework. For example, the World Bank and several partners have developed the Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF), a diagnostic tool to assess the status of land governance at country level in a participatory process that draws on local expertise and existing evidence rather than on advice from outsiders. To date, LGAF assessments have been carried out or are under way in 32 countries (20 of which are in Africa). Show Less -