World Bank Continues to Support Modernization of Russia’s National Hydromet System

September 17, 2013

WASHINGTON D.C., September 17, 2013 - The World Bank’s Board of Directors today approved a US$60 million loan to co-finance with the Russian Federation a US$139.50 million Second National Hydromet System Modernization Project (Roshydromet-2) in Russia. The project will assist the Russian Federal Service on Hydrometeorology and Environmental  Monitoring to further enhance the national capacity to deliver reliable and timely weather, hydrological and climate information to the Russian citizens, regional and municipal governments, and economic sectors dependent on weather, water, and climate. It will also foster country’s capacity to integrate into the global system of meteorological services.

“The project supports two strategic themes of the Bank’s Country Partnership Strategy for the Russian Federation: increasing growth and diversification, and deepening Russia’s global and regional role,” said Michal Rutkowski, World Bank Country Director for Russia.  “The project will contribute to sustainable development and effective protection of the national economy and human lives from extreme weather and climate related disasters. It will also help to strengthen Russia’s contribution to global public goods and further its role in the World Meteorological Organization and as a regional leader.”

Notwithstanding the recent progress in improving the quality of weather and hydrometeorological services, the impact of climate change remains a challenge and requires further strengthening of the national capacity to adapt and protect the people. Russia aims to further ensure safety of its population and economic assets by increasing the national preparedness to address weather and climate change impacts. This includes provision of reliable climate-related information and further integration of Russia’s meteorological and hydrological networks in the global meteorological community.

In Russia’s regions prone to natural disasters the project will benefit citizens, regional and municipal governments, as well as weather-, water-, and climate- dependent economic sectors such as emergency, disaster reduction/civil protection, water resources management, civil aviation and transport, agriculture, health, energy, forestry, communal services, tourism, and maritime planning.

The project will bring considerable benefits to the international hydrometeorological community by providing better access to reliable and abundant observation data from the vast territory of Russia, thus contributing to more accurate global forecasting. It will continue to play a catalytic role for strengthening hydrometeorological services in Central Asia where Roshydromet remains a recognized leader.

The project activities will focus on capacity building, infrastructure system enhancement, and quality of service delivery. Its strategic objectives will be achieved through support to the following three main areas of activity:

  • Strengthening Information Communication Technology infrastructure and systems delivering weather, climate and hydrological data and information;
  • Modernization of observation networks; and
  • Institutional and regulatory strengthening, improved service delivery to clients and better preparedness for emergencies.

The project aims to achieve the following results:

  • Improved accuracy and timeliness of basic weather forecasts. At the end of the project, the forecasts with 168 hours lead time will exceed 70 percent accuracy for the main administrative centers of Russia against a baseline of less than120 hours lead time in 2011;
  • Improved accuracy of seasonal river flow forecasts in the reservoirs in the Volga river basin whereby at the end of the project the accuracy of seasonal water inflow forecasts to reservoirs will exceed 85-90 percent against a baseline of  75-80 percent in 2011;
  • Increased number of sectoral users of Roshydromet’s data withy anticipated annual growth of 5 percent; and
  • Improved client satisfaction, which is expected to reach 65 percent in 2015 and 75 percent at the end of the project.

The project complements the results of the first National Roshydromet Modernization Project and will further support climate change monitoring as an emerging national priority. The new project will assist Roshydromet in achieving its mid-term modernization goals set up by the Russian Government in The Strategy for Activities in Hydrometeorology and Related Areas until 2030 (with consideration of climate change). The project will help to further strengthen the hydrological networks and services, as less than 7 percent of network has been modernized in the course of the first project, and enhance information systems for weather, climate and hydrological forecasting.

Despite considerable accomplishments under the first Hydromet project, the Russian Government recognized that one, relatively modest project could not possibly address the entire gamut of shortcomings resulting of two decades of disinvestments,” said Adriana J. Damianova, World Bank Lead Environmental Specialist and Team Leader for the Project. “In Russia, according to the most conservative estimates priority investment needs in the meteorological and hydrological observations infrastructure amount to more than US$0.5 billion.”

The project will be financed by a Specific Investment Loan implemented on IBRD terms of a final maturity of 18 years including a grace period of 5 years, with project implementation over a five-year period. 

Russia joined the World Bank (IBRD-member and IDA-donor country) in 1992. Today, IBRD is committed to finance 10 investment projects in Russia for the total amount of US$646 million.

Given Russia’s size and strong financial position, engagement with the World Bank Group has been selective and strategic. Over the last 20 years, the Bank has worked with Russia on maintaining prudent macroeconomic policies, making public administration more efficient, restructuring the health sector and educating children starting from kindergarten age.  IFC’s strategy in Russia is to support private sector development and encourage economic growth.

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