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  • May 18, 2018

Resilient Transition: First 100 Days at PPCR

Raul Alfaro-Pelico 

As I prepare to attend the Adaptation Futures Conference on climate change adaptation in June, this seems like a good time to reflect on my first 100 days as focal point for the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience—PPCR at the World Bank. More than 1000 people (including scientists, practitioners, business leaders and policymakers) will be in Cape Town for diverse dialogues and to share perspectives from across the world.

Africa is hosting the conference for the first time. Given the continent’s development challenges, and  the World Bank Group’s stronger emphasis on helping countries build resilience to climate, following last December’s One Planet Summit, PPCR is well-placed to support the Bank’s adaptation ambitions with its US$1.2 billion funding envelope ahead of COP24, and beyond.

The climate challenge has grown in scale and urgency, magnifying natural disasters costing US$500 billion per year in well-being and asset losses. In 2017, the hottest on record without an El Niño:

  • The costliest ever hurricane season, wreaked havoc in the Caribbean,
  • Over 900,000 people were displaced from their homes due to drought in Africa, and
  • Monsoon floods disrupted the lives and livelihoods of 40 million in South Asia.

Yet, I remain optimistic about PPCR’s potential to help address the challenge, by maximizing finance for development through climate resilient investments.

At the PPCR meetings last December, I witnessed the endorsement of Strategic Plans for Climate Resilience for investment in 8 additional countries – these SPCRs were developed after thorough consultations with national PPCR counterparts and stakeholders, including government, civil society and the private sector. Credit for supporting this process goes to my predecessor Kanta Kumari Rigaud, along with Kazi Ahmed Fateha, other multilateral development banks (MDBs) and the CIF Admin Unit.

I have also discussed with various partners about opportunities for PPCR to support increased adaptation action, including Mafalda Duarte (Head of CIF), PPCR focal points at partner MDBs, and WB task teams supervising half of the PPCR allocation (US$500 million) across 5 sectors (urban, water, transport, agriculture and environment), 3 continents (Africa, Asia and America) and 2 island regions (Caribbean, Pacific).

From these conversations I set the PPCR team’s 3 priorities to help realize the WBG adaptation ambitions: policy, strategic & programmatic oversight; advisory services & analytics; and, knowledge management.

Our goal for the next 10 years is to ensure investments approved over the past decade lead to resilient outcomes and transformational change. That means ensuring that country implementation progress is not only consistent with their plans, but also contributes to adaptation targets under the Paris Agreement. In countries where projects we designed before the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) were submitted to the UNFCCC in 2015,  projects, such as in Mozambique approved in 2013-2014, will be closely monitored to promote NDC alignment.

As countries seek financing for investment plans, we are supporting their integration within WBG country engagement processes such as the Systematic Country Diagnostics (SCD). For instance, the Malawi SPCR can inform the resilience aspects of its SCD and WBG Country Partnership Framework. Finally, on the programmatic front, we are reviewing country programs such as the PPCR Haitian portfolio, to see if they remain relevant to the Haiti’s current vulnerability context.

Following Haiti’s Earthquake in 2010, and Hurricane Matthew of 2016, we need to have a sense of PPCR’s relevance in existing and other sectors that may not be covered under the SPCR (e.g. health, education). All in all, our oversight will step up PPCR contributions to Priority I (Supporting Transformational Policies and Institutions) of the WBG 2016-2010 Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP). But more needs to be done.

Many opportunities exist across the portfolio. The team has identified global themes (e.g. maximizing finance for development, resilient infrastructure or gender) and topics (energy resilience, behavioral economics) emerging from PPCR. We will also support mainstreaming resilience in sectors not directly financed by PPCR (e.g. power, health), in line with CCAP Priority III (Scaling Up Climate Action). For instance, we are replicating in other countries the support provided on climate change diagnostics carried out in the Madagascar health sector.

Finally, the team is poised to shape the global dialogue on adaptation and resilience through the dissemination of best practices from the PPCR portfolio. We are participating in various related events en route to Katowice’s COP24 including the Adaptation Futures Conference in Cape Town (June 18-21), the first major city in the modern era running out of drinking water due to a prolonged dry season.

Using the ten key lessons PPCR shared at the design and initiation stage, our aim is to show more concrete results after 10 years of CIF financing. And, beyond COP24, we seek to inform the global increased ambition with new targets for a resilient transition to a post-2020 climate landscape.