Bangladesh, Niger and Tajikistan Get $270 Million Boost for Sweeping Climate Resilience Plans

November 11, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 11, 2010 — In a history-making move this week, Bangladesh, Niger and Tajikistan were awarded a total of $270 million for first-of-a-kind country-wide plans for resilience against climate impacts. Coming just weeks before the UN climate conference in Cancun, this financing is among the largest funding ever granted to countries for national-level adaptation to climate impacts.

The funding will allow the countries to implement transformative solutions to ensure greater climate resilience and help sustain and strengthen their economies. The countries’ Strategic Programs for Climate Resilience will cover a range of actions including shoring up diminishing coastlines, revamping and scaling up weather forecasting and climate modeling, transforming energy services, and instituting climate-resilient approaches to land and ecosystem management.

The financing was awarded by the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience under the $6.4 billion Climate Investment Funds, a set of funds to support low-emissions and climate-resilient development channeled through the multilateral development banks, and will be complemented by other grants and concessional financing from multilateral and bilateral partners and the private sector.

The three countries, all of which face potentially life-threatening impacts from climate change, are the first countries to submit national-level strategic programs to the PPCR governing body.

“This funding from the PPCR offers us a critical lifeline at a time when we face serious risk from climate impacts,” said Kurbonbekov Jumabek, Deputy Head of Tajikistan’s Department of Environment, Protection and Emergency Situations, who presented his country’s plan to the PPCR Sub-Committee. “As a country, we are dedicated to ensuring a positive and sustainable path for our people and environment. As we work together to rise out of poverty into a state of prosperity and to sustain our environment, we welcome this recognition of our commitment and readiness to move forward.”

The programs will be implemented by the countries in a series of phased activities with support from multilateral development banks. The programs were developed through a broad set of consultations with stakeholders in the countries, from the village to the national level.

With the granting of these funds, the $1 billion PPCR moves fully into its implementation phase. Six other low-income countries (Bolivia, Cambodia, Mozambique, Nepal, Yemen and Zambia) are in the process of designing their programs, and groups of countries in the Caribbean and the South Pacific are also designing regional-level and individual country plans.

“At a time when we are all seeking ways to fill the drastic funding and knowledge gap on climate resilience, the strategic approach being adopted by countries is most welcome,” stated Daniele Ponzi, Lead Environment Specialist at the Asian Development Bank, one of the principal partners in the undertaking. “These countries face serious climate risks to their economies and to the lives and livelihoods of their citizens, and we are pleased to be able to support them on the ground.”

Bangladesh, the most climate-vulnerable country in the world, will use the PPCR money for a number of projects, including a long-term reconstruction plan to shore up its coastal embankments to withstand cyclones and storm surges, to be managed by the World Bank Group, and financing from the Asian Development Bank and other partners to increase climate resilience of their water supply and sanitation and other coastal infrastructure investments. The International Finance Corporation will also support a program to ensure climate resilient agriculture. Total PPCR funding received is $50 million in grants and $60 million in near zero-interest credits. This will complement existing support to Bangladesh from other development partners for its vital adaptation work.

Tajikistan, one of Central Asia’s most climate-vulnerable countries, will use the PPCR funding to deal with the impacts of climate variability and changing weather patterns, and to implement projects aimed at improving the country’s disaster preparedness and ability to respond to climate change. The projects are backed by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and will tackle big gaps in climate data collection, weather forecasting, and climate modeling. Major goals include development of early warning systems, protection against climate impacts for existing energy services including renewables such as hydropower and water management, land-management practices that promote sustainable agriculture, and building resilience in vulnerable ecosystems such as the Pyanj River Basin. Total PPCR funding received is $50 million in grants.

Niger, which faces heavy losses from desertification and is reeling from serious food security problems, will apply the PPCR funding to disseminate climate information more widely and in local languages, improve early warning systems, manage water resources, reduce risk of climate-related agricultural losses, and provide support for rural communities. Total PPCR funding received is $50 million in grants and $60 million in near zero-interest credits.

The Climate Investment Funds provides a unique financing instrument designed to support low-emissions and climate-resilient development through scaled-up financing channeled through the African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Inter-American Development Bank, and the World Bank Group.

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