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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Countries keep a close watch on their national income accounts to evaluate economic performance. But traditional indicators like GDP (gross domestic product) say nothing about the longer term economic... Show More +, social, or environmental sustainability of current growth patterns. A World Bank–led partnership Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) is helping countries move beyond traditional GDP focus to start incorporating wealth, including natural capital, into their national accounts.The message on the opening day of the Fourth Annual WAVES Partnership Meeting is that natural capital accounting (NCA) is informing new policy and long-term development planning, and that finance and planning ministers are listening. WAVES works to implement NCA, create a global community of practice for sharing lessons learned and promote a better understanding of NCA.The partnership meeting, held May 14–15, 2014 at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C., was attended by over 160 people from 22 countries, and included representatives from dozens of international organizations, technical experts, donors, UN agencies, civil society, and think tanks. A globally-webcast discussion titled “Going #BeyondGDP: Making Natural Capital Count for Development” kicked off the meeting and engaged over 1.2 million people on social media. Several countries highlighted how they are implementing NCA in their countries to gather evidence for designing policies. Show Less -
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 -
Results The following examples illustrate the kinds of results achieved through IBRD and IDA support for modernization of land administration programs over the past 40 years.Making land tenure mo... Show More +re secure and improving access to credit:Thailand: A series of three IBRD-financed land titling projects, approved in 1984, 1990 and 1994, helped the government produce over 5 million title deeds, directly benefitting an estimated 20 million people (approximately one-third of the national population at the time). The Thailand experience has been the object of considerable research, and aspects of the program have served as a model for land administration programs throughout the world. Research findings confirm the importance of secure land tenure for improving access to credit and as incentives to invest. These findings also emphasize the importance of having complementary credit programs be available and accessible, in order to achieve these results. Kyrgyz Republic: The IDA-financed Land and Real Estate Registration Project (FY00) supported the development of markets for land and real estate and increase their effectiveness. This was achieved by introducing a reliable and well-functioning system for the registration of rights and the creation of “Gosregister,” a state agency that established the legal and administrative basis for registration of land and real estate. By 2007, over 2.4 million immovable property objects had been registered; sales, leases and mortgages had grown, as did tax income and other economic benefits. About 45,000 mortgages valued at US$1.1 billion equivalent were registered in 2007. Armenia: Under the Title Registration Project (FY99), IDA promoted private sector development by implementing a transparent, parcel-based, easily accessible and reliable registration system for land and other immovable property. Almost all of the country's 2.5 million privately owned land parcels and buildings were surveyed, and about 1 million property records were stored in a central database. Bosnia and Herzegovina: The IDA-financed Land Registration Project (FY07) assisted in the development and adoption of new service standards in order to help improve services, transparency, speed and accuracy of registrations. Registration took many months prior to commencement of the project in 2007, but now 80 percent of all transactions are resolved in five days or less and mortgages are registered within a day in 16 of the 47 courts, including Sarajevo.Improving post-disaster recovery:Indonesia: Under the Reconstruction of Aceh Land Administration Project (FY05), IDA supported post-tsunami recovery efforts in Aceh through rapid community mapping, and land registration and titling. The project also introduced the concept of joint titling and gender recording. A total of 222,628 land title certificates were distributed to land owners after the tsunami, out of which 63,181 were given to women either individually or as joint owners with their spouses. Protecting indigenous and environmentally sensitive lands:Nicaragua: Under the Land Administration Project (FY02), IDA helped to demarcate, title, and register 1 million ha of indigenous and ethnic community lands in the country’s Atlantic coastal region, and prepare territorial management plans with participation of the communities, their leaders and authorities, to guide future development efforts. Supporting peace and conflict mitigation:Guatemala: As one of the factors underlying 30 years of civil war in Guatemala, land issues featured prominently in the 1996 Peace Accords. Lack of secure tenure rights fueled conflicts and hindered investment, especially in rural areas. Through the Land Administration Project that began in 1999, IBRD has helped to demarcate about 720,000 hectares of rural lands (2,980 properties titled and registered) and 67,000 urban parcels (28,750 of which received registered titles, and 40 percent of which are female heads of household), covering most lands in the Department of El Petén. Seventy-nine percent of land conflicts were resolved through a participatory mediation process, which was piloted under the project. A second Land Administration Project that began in 2007 is now extending these activities to several other departments in the country. Sri Lanka: The IDA-financed North East Housing Reconstruction Program (FY05) assisted in the reconstruction of 31,200 houses in the northeast region over a four-year period. This housing program has facilitated the return of displaced populations in the northeast, and the regularization of land titles to targeted beneficiaries. Demonstrating the viability of community-based approaches in securing access to land for the poor:Honduras: The Access to Land Pilot Project (FY01) demonstrated the financial viability of community-based land reform with private financing of land acquisition. By the end of the project, 990 families acquired 2,400 hectare, 97 percent of farmers were able to pay back loans, and farmer incomes doubled in four years. Malawi: The Community Based Rural Land Development Project (FY04) built on the new land policy adopted by the country in 2002 with IDA support. By May 2010, 15,000 poor families had access to land. Gross margins per hectare have risen ten-fold for hybrid maize from the pre-relocation baseline.Brazil: Under the Land-Based Poverty Alleviation Project (FY00) families formed groups that negotiated directly with willing sellers to purchase suitable properties. They then obtained financing and technical assistance to establish themselves on or near the land and to improve the productivity of the acquired properties. Thanks to the IBRD project, more than 55,000 poor rural families gained access to about 1.2 million hectares of land.Helping women achieve equal treatment in obtaining land rights:Women often face difficulties in proving they own the land they work and live on. The lack of clear property rights denies them an opportunity to earn more, for example by renting the property out or using it as collateral for loans. The World Bank has helped women in Ethiopia, Honduras, Indonesia, Kosovo, Nicaragua, and Vietnam to understand their rights and secure clear land title to their properties, enabling them to get more out of their most important asset. Show Less -