Approved by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on August 4, 2016, the ESF responds to new and varied development demands and challenges that have arisen over time. The experience and capacity of many borrowing countries has improved, and the World Bank’s requirements have been updated to reflect the realities of today.
The ESF replaces the current Safeguard Policies, boosting protections for people and the environment, and driving sustainable development through capacity- and institution-building and country ownership. It will also enhance efficiency, for both the borrowing country and for the WB. The new ESF will apply to all new investment projects when it launches October 1, 2018. The WB’s current safeguards will run in parallel to the new ESF for about seven years to govern projects approved before the effectiveness date of the new ESF.