The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund (UCCRTF) recently held its annual Financing Partners Meeting in Manila.
The meeting, held from 13 to 15 May, was opened by Robert Guild, Chief Sector Officer and UFPF Facility Manager, together with Manoj Sharma, Chief of the Urban Sector Group. UCCRTF financing partners were represented by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), led by Shan Mitra, Senior Adviser; Archana Shukla, Senior Programme Officer; and Kanupriya Sharma, Programme Officer. Roman Windisch of SECO and Deepali Khanna from the Rockefeller Foundation were unable to attend due to conflicting schedules.
Over the course of the meeting ADB project officers highlighted the valuable support provided by the UCCRTF in different regions:
Vijay Padmanabhan, Director of ADB’s Southeast Asia Urban Development and Water Division (SEUW), noted that UCCRTF funding allowed the division to provide immediate response to the reconstruction efforts in Marawi, Philippines following the five-month long battle with extremist militants; and Palu, Indonesia after the tsunami that hit the country in September 2018.
In India, Neeta Pokhrel, principal urban development specialist at ADB’s South Asia Urban Development and Water Division (SAUW), detailed the innovative work that UCCRTF is supporting in Kolkata: flood forecasting and early warning systems, solid waste management and gender-inclusive transportation; and improving access to drinking water in West Bengal.
Kiyoshi Nakamitsu, principal urban development specialist from the Central and West Asia Urban Development and Water Division (CWUW), spoke of the knowledge exchanges organized by UCCRTF, which introduced their DMC partners to new ideas and approaches in urban development. Given the very positive experience with UCCRTF, he requested the trust fund to consider expanding to other countries in the Central and West Asia region.
Heavy rainfall in the Burrabazar area in Kolkata. The UCCRTF is working in the city to improve flood early warning systems. (Photo: Biswarup Ganguly, CC by 3.0.)
Senior urban development specialist Virinder Sharma acknowledged the progress that UCCRTF had made in these regions, and provided an overview of the fund’s portfolio that demonstrates the breadth of activities that have been undertaken to date. As of December 2018, UCCRTF has committed $99.83 million for 45 projects across 30 cities in 8 countries.
About 46% of the committed amount ($46.2 million) has been contracted while disbursements are at 17% ($17.2 million).
The largest percentage of the UCCRTF’s portfolio has been committed to the Southeast Asia and South Asia divisions, accounting for 33% and 25% respectively, with India and Viet Nam receiving 17% each of the approved amount and Bangladesh and the Philippines both receiving 8%.
A review of the UCCRTF portfolio shows a very diverse set of projects covering standard ADB sectors such as water, solid waste management; flood risk and watershed management; transport and health; in addition to preparation of ADB investment projects.
In addition, a sizeable portion of UCCRTF portfolio is also invested in work with the private sector, planning, work with NGOs (and community-led projects), post-reconstruction support, nature-based solutions,
transboundary climate change issues, governance and social services, and ocean health, among others, which are new areas for ADB. Through its projects, UCCRTF is supporting ADB to achieve its corporate targets in climate finance, private sector, gender, and ocean health.
UCCRTF has a current pipeline of 11 projects with a value of $18.8 million which it aims to approve within 2019 for projects to be completed by December 2021.
DFID also had a meeting with Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department Director General Woochong Um. They discussed the bilateral organization’s objectives in scaling up climate change work in Asia and the importance that UK places on “resilience”. It was agreed that discussions will continue for increased ADB and DFID joint work on Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations (FCAS), gender, disability, and climate change.
During the meeting, ADB project officers presented their projects, highlighting how UCCRTF support made it different from “business-as-usual.” The meeting culminated with a discussion on the mid-term evaluation of the trust fund and the next steps for scaling up and institutionalizing the work initiated by UCCRTF in the final two years of the trust fund.