ADB Declares $200 Million Goal for Water Resilience Programme
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and its partners announced at COP27 that they want to raise more than $200 million from 2021 to 2025 to improve Asia and the Pacific's water and sanitation security and resilience.
The Asia and Pacific Water Resilience Initiative, also known as RUWR: ARe yoU Water Resilient?, is a broad-based programme aimed at increasing capacity and resources for innovative solutions to mainstream resilience by addressing gaps, needs, and opportunities at the local level.
It is part of ADB's commitment to increase climate change adaptation financing.
The government of the Netherlands is giving $20 million to the newly created Water Resilience Trust Fund, which is part of RUWR and will focus on adaptation, innovation, and including everyone to speed up water resilience.
Under the initiative, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will give $10 million to the Sanitation Financing Partnership Trust Fund. This will help expand sanitation services for everyone in cities, test and scale up sanitation technology and innovations, and support policies and capacities that help provide sanitation systems that are inclusive, resilient, and sustainable.
From 2023 to 2025, ADB plans to give grants worth more than $120 million to the initiative to improve the security and resilience of water and sanitation. It has also developed an $8 million technical assistance (TA) cluster called Mainstreaming Water Resilience in Asia and the Pacific to oversee the RUWR. The e-Asia and Knowledge Partnership Fund and the Japan Fund for a Prosperous and Resilient Asia and the Pacific both give money to the TA cluster, which is funded by the Asian Development Bank.
The contribution from the Netherlands and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will add to the $115.9 million in grants from partners that the ADB has received through the Water Financing Partnership Facility (WFPF). Since 2006, the WFPF has helped the ADB finance 113 investment projects in 20 countries. WFPF also receives financing from the governments of Spain and Austria.
ADB’s Chief of Water Sector Group, Neeta Pokhrel, said:
"Water is one of the world’s most critical natural resources and one increasingly threatened by the impacts of climate change in Asia and the Pacific. It is the main way that we will notice the effects of climate change. Small transformational steps toward water and sanitation resilience today will mean we can make great strides in climate adaptation at the local level.”
Head of the water unit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Karin Roelofs, said:
"Climate change threatens millions of people in Asia and the Pacific. Women and children are the most affected. We have to join hands to make the water sector more resilient.”
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation President, Rodger Voorhies, said:
"In the face of more frequent and severe flooding, as well as in drought-affected areas, lack of resilient sanitation systems is a major public health hazard. The spread of disease from poor sanitation has the greatest impact on the poorest families in vulnerable, disaster-prone areas.
"Our support for the Sanitation Financing Partnership Trust Fund is a promise to keep working with the Asian Development Bank to build systems, knowledge, and skills for urban water resilience in the region, with sanitation at the centre of this work."
The ADB Mainstreaming Water Resilience in Asia and the Pacific: Guidance Note, which was just released, will guide the activities of the initiative. These activities are in line with the ADB's larger efforts to get people to take action on climate change in the region.