The ABCs of IDA - Climate Change
This page in: English | عربي | Español | Français | 日本語 | Русский

ABCs of IDA - Climate Change

Climate change is here. Extreme weather events during the last decade have led to widespread human suffering and increasing economic damage around the world. Shifting rain patterns are wreaking havoc on food supplies, power generation, and the availability of water for basic sustenance. Heat waves and violent storms cause drought and flooding. And things are only expected to get worse, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable.

Addressing climate change is an urgent priority for the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest. From July 2011 to June 2012, IDA provided $2.3 billion to help countries adapt to the effects of climate change and another $2.3 billion to mitigate the effects.

IDA helps countries cope with climate change by bringing new solutions—such as better weather data and forecasting, drought resistant crops, pioneering disaster insurance, and cyclone-resistant houses and warning systems.

IDA also helps countries mitigate the impacts of climate change by finding innovative ways to harness energy from the sun, wind, and water, to farm with less water and chemicals and with better seeds, and to reduce carbon emissions by avoiding the use of kerosene and diesel for lighting.

Improved awareness and analysis is proving to be a pre-requisite for climate resilient development. IDA is focused in producing analytic work and providing technical assistance on climate change and disaster risk management. All country strategies completed in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012, included a discussion on the country’s vulnerability to climate change. At least half also included actions on energy efficiency, renewable energy, or analytical work/ technical assistance on climate change.

Managing and moderating the impacts of climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our times, yet IDA’s support is yielding results. Today, more than 1.4 million low-income rural households in Bangladesh have solar electricity. In Vietnam, more than 210,000 people are better prepared for disasters, thanks to early warning and evacuation systems. And the lives of more than half a million Mongolian herders have been transformed by affordable, portable solar home systems that generate enough power for lights, mobile phones, and small appliances.

These are but a few of the important results IDA is delivering on climate change. See the examples on the following pages to learn more. Be sure to see our other “ABCs” of IDA, including an overarching ABCs fact sheet, as well as highlights of our work in Africa and on gender, institutional strengthening, and conflict and fragility at at


  • 71 percent of urban households used safe and clean gas-based heating in 2010, up from 13 percent in 2005; privately-owned renewable energy generation grew from 137 gigawatt hours to 417 gigawatt hours.

IDA Results on the Ground


  • More than 1.4 million low-income rural households had electricity delivered by solar PV panels in 2012, up from 7,000 in 2001; this reduced carbon emissions that result from using kerosene and diesel for lighting.
  • More than 1.7 million households benefited from the construction of approximately 50 new cyclone shelters and the repairs to another 250 existing multi-purpose shelters in the wake of Cyclone Sidr in 2007. More than 100 kilometers of embankments were rehabilitated.

Burkina Faso

  • Energy savings of almost 9 percent were realized at peak demand between 2005 and 2012; some 33 public buildings have been equipped with energy-efficient equipment and 150 other buildings benefited from installation of energy-efficient lamps.


  • 3,124 hectares of watershed were being sustainably managed; 28,744 hectares of community forest were established; 71.5 million trees were introduced to the farming systems; and eight provincial land use plans were completed, all as of 2011.


  • 61 percent higher daily incomes were earned between 2008 and 2011 by women trained to use, produce, and sell environmentally friendly clay cook stoves, which cost $1.50 each.
  • The avoided CO2 emissions reached more than 500,000 tons between 2005 and 2011; reduced CO2 emissions are estimated to be 2 million tons by 2020, and could reach more than 14 million tons.

The Caribbean

  • Haiti, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines pay IDA-subsidized premiums and receive insurance payouts sufficient to cover short-term liquidity needs in the aftermath of an earthquake or hurricane through the Caribbean Catastrophic Risk Insurance Facility—the world’s first regional disaster financing facility.

Country Strategies

  • All country strategies completed in fiscal 2012 included a discussion on the country’s vulnerability to climate change; at least half also included actions on energy efficiency, renewable energy, or analytical work/ technical assistance on climate change.

Disaster Risk Management

  • World Bank disaster risk management (DRM) investments are helping to protect millions of lives and livelihoods and safeguard growth in key socio-economic sectors. The World Bank established the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) as a global partnership program in 2006, to build capacity and provide technical assistance to integrate disaster risk management into development planning. The partnership includes 43 country governments and international organizations, including 21 donors. GFDRR also serves as the World Bank’s focal point for disaster risk reduction and recovery.
  • GFDRR has helped more than 40 IDA countries integrate disaster risk management into development planning. Grant making has increased from $6.4 million in fiscal 2007 to $46.7 million in fiscal 2012, and demand for support from GFDRR continues to grow, six years into the program.

Environment and Natural Resources Management

  • Protecting the environment is integral to the World Bank’s mission to end extreme poverty and sustain the quality of development. 7.8 million rural inhabitants in Africa received support in response to the drought during 2007–10. As of December 2012, the World Bank’s environment and natural resource portfolio in the Africa region stood at $2.3 billion.

IDA Results on the Ground


  • Financing of potential adaptation co-benefits grew to $2.3 billion (a 61 percent increase over fiscal 2011) and to $2.3 billion for mitigation (a 161 percent increase over fiscal 2011).


  • 9 million people in the Horn of Africa are facing hunger from the worst drought in 60 years. 35,449 malnourished children (under age five), pregnant and lactating women, tuberculosis (TB) patients, and people living with HIV/AIDS received supplemental food within the first three months (Sept. to Dec. 2011) of a project supporting drought refugees in Kenya. An additional 8,500 children (6-18 months of age) underwent growth monitoring and received lipid nutrient supplementation, and 18,627 children with acute malnutrition received special monitoring.
  • In Ethiopia, 15,850 malnourished children (6-59 months) received urgent nutritional and supplemental food and 24,433 children (under age five) received support through the Blanket Supplemental Feeding Program each month.


  • 75 rural health clinics had solar photo-voltaic electricity, as of 2010, with expansion underway.


  • 1.3 million people, represented by 76 civil protection communities, strengthened their disaster preparedness and response capacity from 2005 to 2011.


  • 95 municipal disaster emergency committees and 375 local emergency committees were formed to reduce vulnerability to disasters as of 2010. More than 500,000 people in 58 municipalities are benefiting from structural mitigation measures.


  • As of 2013, five insurance companies are participating in an index-based livestock insurance project in Mongolia to cushion farmers against high livestock mortality rates—a result of the country’s harsh and unforgiving climate. The project, the first of its kind anywhere in the world, combines self-insurance, market-based insurance, and a social safety net.


  • About 50,000 jobs were created directly and indirectly in Bangladesh from 2002 to 2012 by the solar electrification industry and its supply chain.


  • 14,000 tons of hazardous substances were treated and neutralized, 30,000 hectares of ash covered, and 100,000 trees planted from 2009 to 2012.

Lao People’s Democratic Republic

  • 35,000 households were provided with off-grid energy—solar home systems or mini hydro plants—from 1995 to 2012.


  • More than 1.1 million hectares of forest resources were brought under sustainable management between 2004 and 2012; 1.29 million improved stoves and 1.3 million low-consumption lamps were distributed.

IDA Results on the Ground


  • Half a million herders’ lives were transformed by the 2008-12 introduction of affordable, portable solar home systems that generate enough power for lights, televisions, radios, mobile phone charging, and small appliances.


  • 7,900 solar home systems were installed from 2004 to 2008. 110,000 tons of CO2 emissions were abated and 1,200 microcredits issued for household connections, photovoltaic systems, and mini-grids between 2003 and 2011.

Open Data

  • The Open Climate Data Initiative makes the latest knowledge and data available for accelerating resilient development and supporting climate impacts and risk analysis.
Pacific States
  • The Pacific Catastrophe Risk Facility was set up in 2013 to provide disaster risk assessment tools and practical technical and financial applications to reduce and mitigate countries’ vulnerability to natural disasters. During fiscal 2013, the Bank executed the first-ever capital markets insurance transaction covering tsunamis to help five Pacific Island countries (Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu) to insure themselves against natural disasters.


  • Support is provided to Andean farmers to grow quinoa, a highly adaptable crop that can boost food security. In the last eight years, more than 98 partnerships were created between small-scale producers and domestic and foreign buyers of this 1,000-year old nutritious cereal. Such support has helped increase quinoa sales by 38 percent.


  • 3,300 hectares of marshland were newly developed or rehabilitated for irrigation, and more than 10,000 hectares of hillside were developed and protected against soil erosion between 2008 and 2012.
  • 2,346 hectares of land have been protected against erosion.
  • Rainfed productivity has reached $2,240 per non-irrigated hectare in just one season, and the share of commercialized products from project areas is 69 percent.
  • 4 megawatt (MW) methane gas-fired pilot plants were developed and preparations were completed from 2005 to 2010 for the country’s first private sector-owned and operated power plant (100 MW), using domestic methane gas from Lake Kivu.


  • Seawalls and road access have been restored in communities affected by the 2009 tsunami, as of March 2013.


  • 378,161 hectares of sustainable community-managed forests were established from 1997-2004, supplying more than 370,000 tons per year of sustainable fuelwood.

IDA Results on the Ground

Sri Lanka

  • 117,000 households received off-grid access to electricity and 185.3 MW grid-connected renewable energy sub-projects were installed between 2002 and 2011; avoided carbon emissions are estimated at 1.84 million tons.


  • 35 local industries were connected for gas, replacing the use of heavy fuel oil and other types of petroleum fuels with the development of the Songo Songo gas field between 2001 and 2010; 1.8 million and 0.73 million tons of CO2 were reduced from power generation and local industries, respectively, between 2004 and 2010.


  • More than 52,000 people in poor neighborhoods were protected against the 2010 floods through the Emergency Urban Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project. The project cleared more than 70 kilometers of storm drains in areas facing flood risk, which allowed rainwater to flow where previously it would flood, rehabilitated roads, provided a 1,000-bed emergency center, and connected underserved communities to the electricity network.


  • More than 500 solar systems with a capacity of 117,000 watt-peak hours were installed between 2002 and 2009 in health centers across the country, improving service delivery and enhancing safety; 20 solar water-pumping systems, with a capacity of 196,000 watt-peak hours, were installed and are operating in 14 districts countrywide, improving water supply in small towns and rural growth centers countrywide.


  • 11 major flood and storm mitigation infrastructure projects—including safe harbors, river dykes, evacuation roads, and drainage pumping stations—have been constructed or rehabilitated since 2006 as part of a comprehensive disaster risk management program.
  • More than 210,000 people living in 30 villages are now prepared for disaster events, with local early warning and evacuation systems, disaster action plans, 12 new or upgraded storm shelters, and 165 safe schools and health care facilities that had been damaged by recent storms.


  • Water efficiency measures in urban municipalities reduce water and energy consumption and emissions from water pumping and distribution. Major improvements to water systems in 53 Georgian cities and towns from 2010 to 2012 allowed for better storage and a much more reliable flow of water. Electricity consumption has dropped to 0.4 kilowatt hour consumed/per cubic meter from 0.7 kilowatt hour consumed, due to the more energy efficient water systems.

Extreme Weather

  • Research on extreme weather events focuses on potential impacts of floods and cyclones on population and economic productivity, and quantification of adaptation costs.
  • Although there has been much progress on preparing for and saving lives from storm surges, World Bank research aims to set a new course for better understanding expected changes in storm surge patterns and better allocating resources for disaster preparedness in countries that are the most vulnerable.

Yemen, Republic of

  • 3,050 traditional seed varieties were collected and stored in gene banks between 2008 and 2010 to replace ill-suited imported seeds and to preserve agro-biodiversity; 31 priority seed varieties were improved to fit the local climate and improve the country’s food security.


  • 53 rural schools and 11 health centers along with 199 staff housing gained access to electricity through solar PV systems from 2009 to 2013.

IDA Results on the Ground

The International Development Association

The International Development Association (IDA) is a game-changer in the field of development, paving the way for others in the most difficult and complex situations to help hundreds of millions of people escape the cycle of abject poverty.

IDA provides leadership on global challenges. From its support for climate resilience to the creation of jobs to get combatants back into society, IDA rallies others on tough issues for the common good and helps make the world more secure.
  • IDA is transformational. IDA helps countries develop solutions that have literally reshaped the development landscape— from its history-changing agriculture solutions for millions of South Asians who faced starvation in the 1970s to its pioneering work in the areas of debt relief and the phase-out of leaded gasoline.
  • IDA is there for the long haul. IDA stays in a country after the cameras leave, emphasizing long-term growth and capability to make sure results are sustained.
  • When the poorest are ignored because they’re not profitable, IDA delivers. IDA provides dignity and quality of life, bringing clean water, electricity, and toilets to hundreds of millions of poor people.
  • IDA makes the world a better place for girls and women. IDA works to reverse millennia of gender discrimination by getting girls to school, helping women access financing to start small businesses, and ultimately helping to improve the economic prospects of families and communities.
  • Working with the World Bank Group, IDA brings an integrated approach to development. IDA helps create environments where change can flourish and where the private sector can jump-start investment.