MARRAKECH, October 12, 2023—World Bank’s Vice President of the Europe and Central Asia Region, Antonella Bassani and Switzerland's Federal Councilor Guy Parmelin inked an agreement on the contribution of $5 million grant by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) to the Central Asia Water & Energy Program (CAWEP) during 2023 World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings in Morocco. The additional support to the program will help bolster water and energy security in view of growing climate-related challenges across Central Asia.
SECO and the World Bank have a long-standing partnership through CAWEP, a multi-donor trust fund that was established in 2009 with SECO support and is now entering its fourth phase. CAWEP aims to promote regional cooperation for more resilient and better integrated water and energy management under a changing climate.
"SECO has been an unwavering supporter of this critical program, having contributed to all three previous phases. CAWEP continues to be one of our flagship engagements on water and energy - necessary areas for fostering economic growth and prosperity across Central Asia. The World Bank values collaboration with the Swiss authorities, seeking not only financial contributions but also harnessing Swiss diplomatic expertise for high-level regional dialogue on water and energy management," said Tatiana Proskuryakova, World Bank Country Director for Central Asia.
The new contribution will allow CAWEP to take a strategic approach with a focus on the promotion of integrated water and energy management and a particular emphasis on addressing the implications of climate change.
“CAWEP plays a key role in promoting regional cooperation to tackle interlinked water, energy and climate challenges. Over the past decade, this program has delivered high-quality analytics, contributed to institutional reforms, and leveraged important investments in the water and energy sectors across Central Asia. CAWEP reflects the long-term engagement of Switzerland, the World Bank and partners to support integrated, resilient water and energy management in Central Asia, which are fundamental to sustainable prosperity,” said Federal Councilor Guy Parmelin.
Acknowledging the political and strategic significance of integrated management of water and energy resources, the fourth phase of the program is set to promote and facilitate high-level regional dialogue and diplomacy in this sphere. This dialogue will be enhanced by data-driven analytics, including assessments and economic modeling under plausible future climate scenarios.
The decisions and initiatives stemming from this dialogue will be executed through the strengthening of regional institutions, promoting cooperation in water and energy policy and management. The program will also allocate resources to facilitate regional water and energy investments, along with national initiatives that contribute to the enhanced regional cooperation.
The Central Asia Water and Energy Program (CAWEP) was launched in 2009 to address the challenges of water and energy management in Central Asia. During the last five years only, CAWEP has leveraged over $2.2 billion in development financing for water and energy projects, delivered over 35 studies related to water and energy resources management, and provided institutional or technical support to 24 national and regional institutions. The upcoming fourth phase of CAWEP will have a renewed focus on regional cooperation, joint management of resources and climate resilience. The program aims to promote economic growth and stability in the region while addressing pressing environmental concerns.
The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) implements Switzerland’s economic and trade policy measures for the benefit of developing countries. SECO’s expertise enables partner countries to shape structural transformation, develop their private sector and integrate into the global economy. The goal is to promote economic growth and sustainable prosperity.