PPCR: Associated concerns and way ahead for Nepal
This article was published at Sano Paila: The NYCA Youth Ezine on Feb 2011
In 2008, the World Bank, with its development partners, came to an agreement to mobilize new and additional financing to scale- up support for adaptation and mitigation, and established the strategic Climate Investment Funds (CIF) that has two other funding bodies under it: Clean Technology Fund (CTF) and Strategic Climate Fund (SCF). The group, recognizing the UNFCCC deliberations, also presumes that the CIF will be an interim measure designed for the MDBs to assist in filling immediate financing gaps.
At its meeting in November 2008, the SCF Trust Fund Committee approved the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR) with an objective to pilot and demonstrate ways to integrate climate risk and resilience into core development planning, whiles complementing other ongoing activities. It also said that the pilot programs implemented under the PPCR are to be country led, and build on NAPA and other relevant country studies and strategies.
As one of its activities, last November, Bangladesh, Niger and Tajikistan were awarded a total of $270 million for first-of-a-kind countrywide plans for resilience against climate impacts. Six other low-income countries (Bolivia, Cambodia, Mozambique, Nepal, Yemen and Zambia) are in the process of designing their programs, and groups of countries in the Caribbean and the South Pacific are also designing regional-level and individual country plans. Bangladesh and Niger has planned to use the PPCR money for a number of projects included in their national strategies and country led documents. Total PPCR funding received by these countries is $50 million in grants and $60 million in near zero-interest credits. Another one of Central Asia’s most climate- vulnerable country Tajikistan, will be using use the PPCR funding to deal with the impacts of climate variability and changing weather patterns and the total PPCR funding received by Tajikistan is $50 million in grants.
In November 2010, a joint mission from ADB, IFC, and the World Bank came to Nepal with the objective to agree on the concept papers for the major components of the SPCR for the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR). It was mentioned in the report of the joint mission that the Government of Nepal accepted the offer to participate in the PPCR on 13 May 2009, and in March 2010 Nepal received a $225,000 grant to provide technical assistance (TA) to prepare its SPCR. It was also mentioned that during the joint mission in Nepal, a wide range of stakeholders were consulted along with separate consultations for each component. The important thing here to note is that the Government of Nepal advised the mission of its plans to submit an SPCR proposal in the amount of $110 million, requesting $50 million in grants and $60 million in concessional loans, but the Government will provide final guidance during the next joint mission.
After all these initiations, there was a mixed view from the government, civil society and other stakeholders in Nepal. Recognizing the seriousness and importance of the issue, Climate Change Network Nepal (CCNN) facilitated a discussion between all the stakeholders by organizing a consultation on February 6, 2011. During the consultation, Mr.Batu K Uprety and Mr.Purushottam Ghimire from the Government of Nepal elaborated on all the details of this project and requested the civil society to work together in the implementation of its activities. Members of the civil society voiced their concern regarding the loan component of PPCR and said that the Government needs to have a financial analysis done beforehand and should be extremely cautious while utilizing this money. They also advocated for higher investment in private sector. Some felt that Nepal is not ready to pay back the principal amount of the loan and hence should just accept the grant component. Some other believed that we should go ahead with it as the interest rate will be very low with a very long repayment period. Electronic and print Medias have also taking great concern about this issue in the previous weeks.
The next mission of Multilateral Development bank has already come to Nepal, Let’s hope we succeed in this challenge to bringdifferent standpoints to a common ground.