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State and Peacebuilding Fund (SPF)

Addressing the challenges posed by fragility, conflict and violence (FCV) lies at the core of the World Bank Group’s mission to end extreme poverty. By 2030, up to half of the global poor will live in fragile and conflict-affected settings. In 2018, the number of people involved in conflict was up 16 percent from the previous year, with 15,000 civilians losing their lives to conflict in Syria, Nigeria, Yemen, Afghanistan, and the Philippines alone. Moreover, conflicts are increasingly driven and intensified by the effects of long-term trends – such as climate change and demographic pressures – and are disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable groups.

In this context, the State and Peacebuilding Fund (SPF) plays a critical role in addressing the challenges arising from FCV. As the World Bank’s largest global Trust Fund for FCV, the SPF enables conflict prevention programs and supports countries in their efforts towards achieving lasting peace and sustainable development outcomes. The SPF is therefore an important part of the World Bank’s broader efforts to address the drivers and impact of FCV, and ultimately to contribute to peace, stability, and prosperity.

Last Updated: Sep 26, 2019


Established in 2008, with a pledge of $100 million from IBRD over the first three fiscal years, the State and Peacebuilding Trust Fund (SPF) is the World Bank Group’s (WBG) largest, global multi-donor trust fund established to finance innovative approaches to state and peace-building in regions affected by fragility, conflict and violence (FCV). The SPF operates in 57 countries, across regions, and globally, and has the ability to address multiple forms of FCV: from sub-national conflict in East Asia to urban crime and violence in Latin America and from the Syrian refugee crisis in the Middle East and North Africa to institutional fragility and post-conflict challenges across sub-Saharan Africa.

The goal of the SPF is to address the needs of state and local governance, and peacebuilding in fragile and conflict-prone and -affected situations. To achieve this, the Fund pursues two overarching objectives:

  • Improved institutional capacity and legitimacy, to manage stresses and support prevention and recovery from conflict and fragility (Statebuilding).
  • Reduction and management of the internal and external stresses that increase vulnerability to conflict and fragility (Peacebuilding).

Since its inception, the SPF has grown into a multi-donor trust fund of over $342 million in net value and has supported over 200 interventions in FCV contexts worldwide. In 2018, the Fund approved almost $15 million in grants and transfers to FCV-affected countries. As of December 31, 2018, the Fund’s active portfolio comprised 91 grants with over $80 million in commitments.

The Fund is currently supported by contributions from the IBRD, and nine development partners: Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and The United Kingdom.


Focus Areas

In 2017, the Fund structure was redesigned along five focus areas with cross cutting themes of mainstreaming gender interventions and increase the role of information and communications technology to enhance knowledge and operations in FCV situations :

  1. Prevention and Recovery—Tailoring development solutions to FCV causes and consequences,  and prioritizing prevention and risk mitigation.  Preventing entry and relapse into a cycle of conflict holds the potential to save lives, avoid immense losses in human and economic capital, and safeguard development gains. Prevention requires innovative approaches and novel partnerships to meet new threats in an increasingly complex, interconnected world. The SPF is working to mainstream prevention approaches into projects.
  2. Crisis Response—Strengthening capacity to provide timely and effective response to crises and transitions.  Effective crisis responses are characterized by quick and flexible engagement; structured data collection, analysis, and sharing; and development- driven stabilization. Emphasis is on activities that support countries’ abilities to cope with shocks and build resilience to future shocks; address internal displacement crises; and enable the transition from violence to peace.
  3. Forced Displacement—Improving socio-economic conditions of forcibly displaced persons and host communities. Particular attention is given to activities that: provide services and solutions to assist in improving the stability and socio-economic opportunities of refugees and internally displaced persons, host communities, and returnees; and build data and evidence on “what works” for effective development response to forced displacement.
  4. Humanitarian-Development-Peace (HDP) Nexus—Delivering collective outcomes across humanitarian, development, and peace operations. Under the HDP focus area, the SPF supports implementation of programs and projects by bridging the gap between HDP actors based on their comparative advantages. This includes integrated responses to countries in protracted crisis and post-crisis situations; conducting joint analysis and assessment of needs; developing joint diagnostic tools and sharing data; and aligning multi-year planning across peace, humanitarian and development operations.
  5. Financing Solutions—Increasing investment in FCV contexts through innovative financing instruments. This area focusses on catalyzing financing by promoting innovative and promising financial solutions that mobilize resources, effectively channeling financing to address critical challenges, and supporting adequate investment in FCV countries. Activities supported address the design and implementation of innovative financing instruments for the various needs of low- and middle-income FCV countries. The Fund also provides immediate and flexible financing for situations where conventional financing is unavailable. Seed funding provided by the SPF to single-country, multi-donor trust funds fills a critical gap - especially for countries that are not eligible for IDA or IBRD funding.

In 2017, a new Theory of Change and Results Framework were designed and endorsed by the SPF Council in April 2018. Launched on July 1, 2018 across the portfolio, they reflect the SPF value proposition and objectives, monitor portfolio performance, track progress, and inform decision-making. The Theory of Change reflects the demand-driven nature of the SPF and the pathways by which SPF-supported grants contribute to state and peacebuilding objectives.



SPF can support the full range of activities including advisory and analytical services, knowledge generation and dissemination, technical assistance, capacity building, service delivery, and preparation and supervision of recipient executed grants. In addition to the SPF objectives and focus areas, activities must be aligned with the relevant country program framework and should meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Pivoting to prevention: the proposed grant activities support the prevention approach, such as by tailoring development solutions to FCV causes and consequences, integrating conflict prevention into World Bank operations, or testing approaches to risk mitigation.
  • Highly innovative or experimental: the proposed grant activities represent an innovative or experimental approach that would create unique technical or operational knowledge for working in FCV settings.
  • Urgent need: the proposed grant activities respond to a need linked to active conflict, violence, disaster, or other urgent condition.
  • Rare opportunity: the proposed grant activities respond to a rare window of opportunity created by a significant transformative moment; commitments by partners, governments, or other counterparts; and/or other extraordinary developments in the country or region.

Grants in Action: State Peacebuilding Fund Progress and Results [Full PDF]


Prevention and Recovery Grants

Central Asia: Development Approaches for Preventing Violent Extremism ($500,000) supports a  study of the specific risks of recruitment of young men and women into violent extremism (VE) in Central Asian Countries with an initial focus on Tajikistan.  Read More

Philippines: Attaining Just and Lasting Peace ($1,250,000) provides the Government of the Philippines, peace partners, and World Bank teams with timely access to technical assistance, just-in-time advisory services and global knowledge products designed to support the peace and development agenda. Read More

Zimbabwe Immediate Transition Support  Program ($1,000,000). Zimbabwe is undergoing a complex transition following the change in country leadership. The SPF is supporting the design of a strategy for the country’s transition.  Read More


Crisis Response Grants

Central America: Youth Employment and Crime and  Violence ($300,000) builds knowledge on strategies to improve the labor market prospects of at-risk youth in highly violent contexts in Honduras. Read More

South Sudan: The Dynamics of South Sudan’s Conflict Economy ($600,000) aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the conflict dynamics in South Sudan and their implications for agricultural production and food security; migration and human trafficking; spillovers to neighboring countries; informal trade and financing flows; and investments in illicit activities. Read More

Ukraine: Conflict Response and Recovery Pilot and Capacity Building ($3,200,000) enhances recovery and peacebuilding by improving the capacity of the Ministry for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons (MOT) to address the development impacts of the conflict. The SPF grant supports capacity building to help MOT to fulfill its strategy, planning and coordination mandate. Read More


Forced Displacement Grants

Bangladesh: Cox’s Bazar Rapid Impact, Vulnerability and Needs Assessment ($100,000). There are now close to one million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, a situation that poses multiple risks to regional peace and stability. The SPF grant supports an assessment of the impacts, vulnerabilities, needs, and gaps under the current and potential refugee influx and disaster scenarios, and provides a framework for short, medium, and long-term interventions to address them. Read More

Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda: Operationalizing Forced Displacement Program ($2,400,000) supports the Governments of CRRF pilot countries Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda in their continued efforts to implement progressive policy environments to enhance refugees’ self-reliance and agency, and to reduce poverty in host communities. Read More

Uganda: Evidence-Based and Comprehensive Response to Forced Displacement ($2,200,000) contributes to the sustainability of the government’s policies and practices by strengthening the evidence base and institutional capacity of key agencies. Read More


Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus Grants

Mali: Joint UN-World Bank Project on Jobs for Youth ($1,000,000) informs the design of effective support to Jobs for Youth, promoting stabilization in Mali’s conflict areas while advancing joint World Bank-UN work on jobs in FCV contexts. Read More

Lake Chad Region: Cross-border Collaboration ($450,000) builds the foundations for a regional recovery and development strategy for the Lake Chad region, in line with the WBGUN Strategic Partnership Framework objective of strengthening collaboration and joint action in post-crisis and humanitarian settings. Read More  

Libya: Developing a Framework for Recovery and Peacebuilding in Libya ($750,000) enables a Recovery and Peacebuilding Assessment (RPBA) to support the UN-led peace process in Libya, in response to a request from the Government of National Accord. Read More


Financing Solutions Grants

West Bank and Gaza: Development Impact Bond  for Jobs ($2,000,000) supports the testing of Development Impact Bonds as an innovative financing instrument to incentivize private investment and create jobs. Read More

Liberia: MSMEs and Rural Finance Post-Ebola Reconstruction ($4,800,000) aims to support the development of a framework to provide finance on sustainable terms to MSMEs, enhance the capacity of local private sector financial institutions to lend profitably to these enterprises, and objectively measure outcomes. Read More

Lebanon: The Role of Financial Services to Manage the Syrian Refugee Crisis ($500,000) supports analytical work to (i) enhance the knowledge of policymakers on the role of financial services to manage economic instability caused by the Syrian refugee crisis; and (ii) strengthen the economic resilience of vulnerable populations and refugees in Lebanon.  Read More


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