Bank Group Contribution
The World Bank’s engagement in transport projects has returned to pre-crisis levels, after tripling its commitments between FY04 and FY13. The share of lending for the roads and highways sector decreased to pre-crisis levels, with 60 percent share of lending in FY13 (the same value as in FY04); the same trend was observed for railways which registered 7 percent share of commitments in FY13. There was notable expansion in urban transport lending which reached 19 percent in FY13. For the ports and shipping sector, the investments have varied from 2 percent to 4 percent during the last decade.
The modal distribution of all transport projects funded by IBRD and IDA between FY04 and FY13 shows that roads and highways account for 57 percent, urban transport for 14 percent, railways for 6 percent, aviation for 3 percent, and ports and shipping for 5 percent, whereas the remaining 15 percent is distributed to general transportation and public administration in transportation. This more diversified modal split of the portfolio demonstrates the development potential of railways and maritime transport, particularly for long-distance general freight transport, and the vital role of air transport for example, in the shipping of high-value items that need to reach markets quickly.
The urban transport commitments have been constantly increasing during this last decade, from 7 percent in FY04 to 19 percent in FY13. This enhanced focus on urban transport reflects the Bank’s response to the escalating challenges posed by the dramatic growth of urban settlements in its client countries.
IBRD and IDA’s global reach and experience, together with their ability to work across disciplines and across different modes of transport, have laid the foundation for various types of collaboration. In the Latin America region, the Bank partners with other development banks and donors in collaborative projects. For instance, in Peru, IBRD has supported the Rural Roads Program in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank to upgrade the condition of the rural road network. In Asia, the World Bank is partnering with the Indian Government, state governments and various road agencies as well as the Asian Development Bank on the Prime Minister’s Rural Roads Program.
In Africa, the World Bank works with regional organizations such as the Regional Economic Councils, as well as multilateral initiatives such as the African Union’s Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa, and the donor-coordinated Infrastructure Consortium for Africa. Within the World Bank Group, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) provided upstream advisory work to the Government of Kenya, in addition to debt financing in the Rift Valley Railways Consortium, while IDA provided Partial Risk Guarantees to the investor for termination risks and financed the East Africa Trade and Transport Facilitation Project (FY06). The success of this type of partnership is acknowledged by the Euromoney Award in 2007 for the “Africa Infrastructure Deal of the Year.”
In addition, due to its convening power, strong financial management and linkage with investment programs, the World Bank is playing a formative and key role in partnerships such as the Global Facilitation Partnership for Transportation and Trade, the Global Road Safety Facility, and the Sub-Saharan Africa Transport Program (SSATP).
SSATP is partnership of 40 countries across all Africa (North and sub-Saharan), 8 regional economic communities, African institutions, the private sector and development partners. The development objective of the program is for African countries to have developed sound strategies and policies for an efficient, safe and sustainable transport sector. The SSATP has critical contribution to the knowledge agenda of the World Bank. For example, in 2013 it provided a framework for improving railway sector performance in Africa, guidelines for mainstreaming road safety in regional trade corridors, as well as transport governance indicators for sub-Saharan Africa.
Demand for transport infrastructure and services is expected to remain strong in both IBRD and IDA countries, and the Bank will continue to help countries bridge the access gap and achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The World Bank will continue to offer an extensive range of instruments, including investment loans, development policy loans, guarantees, and technical and advisory assistance to meet its objectives. It will support reforms necessary for facilitating private sector participation and for improving the efficiency of transport investments, while assisting borrowing countries with governance and institutional strengthening in order to foster ownership and accountability.
With growing urbanization rates, it is expected that many IBRD and IDA countries will become more urban than rural in the next 20 years. The World Bank has been increasingly involved in urban transport projects to improve the integration across urban services and to increase access of the urban poor to employment opportunities and health and education facilities. Nevertheless, the rural agenda will still benefit from the significant attention of the Bank as it looks forward to a more comprehensive framework of rural support, from project support for financing rural roads to approaches that foster broader government programs and policy reforms.
The World Bank will remain active in the reduction of the transport carbon footprint. It engages in innovative efforts to reduce emissions without endangering mobility to exploit the true potential of climate policies and to reduce sector vulnerability by improving infrastructure services and ensuring resilient new investment. The 2013 report”Turning the Right Corner – Ensuring Development Through a Low Carbon Transport Sector” analyses relationships between mobility, low-carbon transport and development, and shows how policies can be organized to generate revenues that allow a transition to low-carbon transport.
The World Bank transport sector strategy encourages green transport solutions. Through the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), a global partnership program administered by the World Bank, operations in progress and under preparation seek the deployment and transfer of low carbon programs and projects.
The SSATP is also promoting the creation of a Sustainable Transport Forum for Africa (STFA) in partnership with UNEP, UN Habitat and UN DESA. STFA will be a regional cooperation mechanism to engage participants from African countries in a policy dialogue on the challenges posed by the need for sustainability in the transport sector, in particular in the context of climate change, while meeting long-term development demands.
Special attention is given to co-benefits with other sectors, notably to the health sector through, for example, the implementation of HIV/AIDS awareness and mitigation measures. The inclusive development attributes are also illustrated by pilot interventions for women’s groups and spatial development programs for neighborhood infrastructure development targeting the poorest.
The World Bank continues to address transport safety as one of the major issues concerning developing countries. For example, The World Bank-led Global Road Safety Facility is working with seven other Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) to harmonize road safety practices in client countries. The MDBs are committed to helping achieve the goals of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011–2020) which aims to save five million lives and avoid 50 million serious injuries by 2020.
In the last decade, more than 100 million people have benefitted from World Bank-financed transportation projects. Their individual testimony tells how projects have influenced their lives:
In the northern highlands of Vietnam, a project with IDA and United Kingdom financing is piloting efforts to train rural, ethnic minority women in road maintenance and then formally employ them for the work. The Lao Cai Provincial Women Union has been entrusted with the responsibility to manage and monitor the recruitment of these women who are living along the rural roads in four communes of Bac Ha District of Lao Cai Province. More than 1,500 women were already trained by 2010, and more were awaiting their turn.
“Women like to do this work; they are competing to join. They think that maintaining the road makes the roads nicer, and more convenient for transporting commodities to develop the household economy. During this time of the year, it often rains so maintaining the roads during this time is good,” said Phung Pha Sui, an ethnic woman trainee.
On completion of the training, women were enrolled as road maintenance workers with the Provincial Women Union for a daily wage payment of about 100,000 Vietnam dong, meeting the required standards set out by the union. At dawn, women walk more than 10 km on foot with shovels and hoes on their shoulders to their workplace to do rural road maintenance:
“Dig soil ... Take out the grass … Trim the bushes … Clear drains ... A new job for us who previously only knew how to cultivate ... The road after maintenance activities will be better for villagers going to the market; and more convenient for teachers going to schools,"- said an ethnic female road worker.