The State and Peacebuilding Fund (SPF) is the World Bank’s largest global trust fund supporting interventions in contexts of fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV). The SPF's development objective is to enhance and expand the frontiers of World Bank engagement to help countries address the drivers and impacts of FCV and strengthen the resilience of countries and affected populations, communities and institutions. Through its ability to respond rapidly to emerging needs and its flexibility in working across all countries and territories, including middle-income countries with pockets of fragility, non-members, and countries in arrears, the SPF is a critical component of the World Bank's response to FCV.
The SPF supports catalytic, innovative, and rapid engagement in situations affected by FCV. The SPF’s demand-driven approach allows the fund to remain flexible and to focus on innovation and catalytic funding. SPF seed funding to single-country, multi-donor trust funds can finance activities to leverage larger projects and fills a critical financing gap—especially for countries that are not eligible for IDA or IBRD funding. SPF also facilitates strengthened engagement on FCV beyond the IDA FCS Countries, as well as regional and sub-national contexts affected by conflict and violence.
Pushing frontiers and innovating the Bank's approach to FCV situations is central to SPF's mandate. These include, but are not limited to, the inter-relationships between climate change, disaster risk, and conflict; transitional governance and institutional transformation in recovery contexts; justice and security sector reform; and addressing the impact of demographic change and the 'youth bulge' on FCV risks. These global trends are driving and intensifying conflicts—disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable.
The SPF’s unique capacity to engage in conflict-sensitive operations is especially important given the current context: by 2030, two-thirds of the global extreme poor will be living in countries affected by FCV. This presents a critical development challenge that threatens efforts to end extreme poverty in both low- and middle-income countries. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed this number even higher with an estimated 18 to 30 million more people living into extreme poverty in 2020 in fragility and conflict-affected settings alone.
Aligning the SPF to World Bank Strategy on FCV. Building on the success of the State and Peacebuilding Fund, the State and Peacebuilding Umbrella Trust Fund (SPF), has adjusted its focus areas to be fully aligned with the World Bank Group Strategy for FCV. This ensures that SPF activities are tailored to the distinct realities, needs and challenges faced by countries and their most vulnerable populations.
OUR FOCUS AREAS
SPF is comprised of 4 areas of strategic focus:
- Preventing violent conflict and interpersonal violence—support efforts to prevent and mitigate the causes of violence and conflict as part of the World Bank’s institutional shift towards proactive crisis risk management.
- Remaining engaged during conflict and crisis situations—support the World Bank’s commitment to remaining engaged in situations of active crisis and violent conflict through support for preserving human and institutional capacities, strengthening resilience, and establishing foundations for recovery and reconstruction.
- Helping countries transition out of fragility—support World Bank engagement in sustainable recovery from crisis and conflict and promote conflict-sensitive development solutions that help countries build the resilience and institutional capacity needed to foster longer-term stability and prosperity.
- Mitigating the spillovers of FCV—contribute to enhancing efforts to address transboundary drivers of FCV and their impacts as part of the World Bank’s focus on addressing regional and sub-regional development challenges.
Prioritizing the most disadvantaged and vulnerable, and systematically addressing gender-based inequalities are priorities which will be mainstreamed throughout SPF.
Since its establishment in 2008, the SPF has worked in 64 countries to address the drivers of FCV, strengthen partnerships and collaboration with development partners and stakeholders. Grants have addressed sub-national conflict in East Asia; COVID-19 response in Latin America; the Syrian refugee crisis in the Middle East and North Africa; and institutional fragility and post-conflict challenges across sub-Saharan Africa. In 2020, the Fund approved 20 new grants and one direct transfer to the Sudan Transition and Recovery Support Trust Fund, for a total of $15.3 million in new commitments and an active portfolio of $65.7 million.
As of December 31, 2020, the Fund’s active portfolio comprised 56 grants with over $39 million in commitments. The net value of the SPF is over $371 million.
OUR CATALYTIC GRANTS
The SPF is a catalyst for operations in FCV contexts, providing seed funding for activities, tools, and analytical work that inform larger World Bank projects and leverage other sources of financing, including IDA and IBRD.
For example, the Sudan Emergency COVID-19 Health Response grant ($7,000,000) provided catalytic seed funding to the Sudan Emergency Covid-19 Health Response to strengthen detection, contact tracing, clinical care capacity; to raise public awareness; and improve coordination, planning, and logistical support. In Ukraine, the Conflict Response and Recovery Pilot and Capacity Building grant provided support for the design of the World Bank’s first investment project in Eastern Ukraine, the Reconnect, Recover, Revitalize (3R) Project. In South Sudan the Public Financial Management Reform grant leveraged $34 million under South Sudan Public Financial Management and Institutional Strengthening project.