World Bank backs new Philippine climate fund

A man wades through a flooded rice field in the Philippines. Government officials are in talks with international partners to set up a new climate adaptation and disaster resilience fund. Photo by: Nonie Reyes / World Bank / CC BY-NC-ND

The Philippine government is in the early stages of talks with multilateral officials about the creation of a new disaster resilience and climate adaptation fund — but details about the fund’s size and sourcing are yet to be determined, Devex has learned.

The Philippines has seen an influx of foreign aid and a flurry of legislative activity since last year’s Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated the country’s Visayas region in November. But despite this, many affected communities are yet to fully recover.

The fund, per the Philippine government’s proposal, “will be designed to build resilience at the national, local government and individual level,” according to World Bank vice president and special envoy Rachel Kyte, who spoke at the World Economic Forum in Manila, which concluded Friday. The World Bank, she said, was willing to provide the Philippines with technical assistance to design the fund, as well as with seed money.

Should the fund indeed become a reality, it will be interesting to see how it aligns with other climate-related funding mechanisms currently mandated by law, most of which are still in their infancy stages. Aside from the Climate Change Act and the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act signed a couple of years ago, Congress also passed a People’s Survival Fund in 2012 that looks strikingly similar to the newly proposed fund in terms of objectives.

The PSF, mandated to have Php1 billion ($23 billion) from the nation’s budget, currently has a Php500 million “allotment” although, ironically, according to reports in April, the amount is still “unprogrammed,” meaning the government is still trying to identify the sources for the fund.

Typhoon Haiyan is considered one of the strongest typhoons ever to make landfall, killing more than 6,000 people with thousands more unaccounted for as well as damaging billions in properties. Over $763.5 million of foreign aid has been pledged to Haiyan relief, although less than half of that has been disbursed.

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See more:

Is it too late to 'stop' climate change in Asia?
Climate change in Asia-Pacific: Costs and solutions
World Bank wants to tackle climate change — but does project design measure up?

About the author

  • Lean 2

    Lean Alfred Santos

    Lean Alfred Santos is a former Devex development reporter focusing on the development community in Asia-Pacific, including major players such as the Asian Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. He previously covered Philippine and international business and economic news, sports and politics.