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GFDRR Annual Report 2020 - Bringing Resilience to Scale

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Executive Summary

This Annual Report highlights the progress and results achieved during FY20.

About the FY20 Annual Report

This Annual Report highlights the progress and results achieved during FY20. It provides an overview of grant-making activities in six regions and across GFDRR’s eight targeted areas of engagement. It explores some areas of the work in greater depth and includes financial statements for the fiscal year. GFDRR is committed to further strengthening its monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems, ensuring that evidence and lessons from across the portfolio inform management decisions, accountability, and learning. Results of the FY20 program, as measured against the facility’s results indicators, are available in the report’s annex.


GFDRR’s portfolio continues to support disaster and climate resilience needs, and in response to compounding threats amid the pandemic. During FY20, the facility committed $48.2 million in funding to 140 new grants through its core program and special programs. At the end of the fiscal year, the active portfolio included 360 active grants, for a total commitment amount of $223 million. These grants address a full range of natural hazards, with flooding, earthquakes, and landslides continuing to receive the greatest share of support. In FY20, GFDRR's funding or/and technical assistance mobilized nearly $6.7 billion in additional financing. All GFDRR grants contribute to achieving the Sendai Framework’s goal, as well as its targets and priorities for action.

In-Country Engagements

Core to GFDRR’s vision is helping countries bring resilience to scale. Active grants in FY20 covered 144 countries across all six regions.

The Africa region continues to be the largest in GFDRR’s active portfolio and included 73 active grants worth $54 million. GFDRR’s strategy for building resilience in Africa is structured around four pillars: (1) supporting disaster risk management (DRM) policy and strategy for ministries of finance; (2) strengthening urban resilience; (3) modernizing hydrometeorological (hydromet) services; and (4) strengthening resilient recovery. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, GFDRRsupported Development Policy Loans with a Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat DDO) were triggered in Cabo Verde, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, and the Seychelles. These instruments are designed to provide a flexible financing option for governments to respond to natural catastrophes swiftly. In the world’s fastest urbanizing region, SubSaharan Africa, GFDRR is providing support to nearly 30 cities to prepare for and adapt to the shocks and stresses of rapid urbanization through analytical work that provides a comprehensive picture not only of these risks, but also of the relevant legal, regulatory, and institutional frameworks for addressing these risks.

At the end of FY20, GFDRR had an active portfolio in the East Asia and Pacific region of 66 grants, worth a total of $34.9 million. In a region frequently hit by natural hazards, GFDRR continues to support climate adaptation in small island developing states through risk assessments that inform policies and investments and to help integration and modernization of databases in Southeast Asian countries so that all people receive multi-hazard early warnings. Urbanization has been a key driver of economic growth that has lifted millions out of poverty, and GFDRR is helping strengthen urban resilience and promote resilient infrastructure. Indonesia has recently completed flood hazard modeling for three cities highly vulnerable to flooding: Bima, Manado, and Pontianak; this will lead to a comprehensive urban resilience diagnostic and roadmap, and will potentially inform a World Bank–supported national urban flood resilience program. In the Philippines, the Department of Public Works and Highways is strengthening its capacity to prepare for and respond to emergencies by consolidating post-disaster responsibilities following earthquakes and typhoons, and also applying such emergency management frameworks to the pandemic response.

At the end of FY20, GFDRR’s active portfolio in Europe and Central Asia totaled 41 grants worth $24.8 million. GFDRR has made significant strides in the region—including in Serbia, Tajikistan, and Turkey—in advancing DRM with the use of geospatial analytics and by mainstreaming climate and disaster risks in sectoral policies, such as urban and infrastructure investments. In Tajikistan, local communities are engaging in conflict-sensitive DRM to strengthen socioeconomic resilience for everyone, including marginalized groups. In Romania, a dedicated platform for civil society groups has played a key role in enabling knowledge sharing, fostering partnerships, and crowdsourcing scalable solutions for DRM, with a focus on drawing from the expertise and experience of civil society. Efforts to expand awareness of potential risks and engagements in countries where DRM and climate change adaptation agenda are less rigorous remain a strategic priority in the region.

In the Latin America and the Caribbean region, GFDRR’s active FY20 portfolio totaled 67 grants, worth $28.4 million. The region remains highly vulnerable to natural hazards that threaten to set back development gains at a time when COVID-19 is also having adverse impacts. Key sectors such as tourism and the informal economy have suffered significantly, contributing to added social vulnerabilities. In El Salvador, a technical team conducted extensive interviews at San Salvador’s central market; drawing on these insights as well as a systematic review of hazards, the team completed a community engagement framework for resilient economic development in municipal marketplaces. Other engagements include a gender gap analysis that is identifying how Central America can advance the gender equality agenda regionally by promoting inclusive risk-reducing interventions. Furthermore, emergency cash transfer systems are being modified to become more disaster-responsive in the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru, and Saint Lucia. In specific cases, such systems have been utilized to strengthen household resilience to COVID-19.

GFDRR’s active FY20 portfolio in the Middle East and North Africa totaled 12 grants worth $5.4 million. The facility is supporting the region to accelerate climate adaptation and DRM through technical assistance activities for urban resilience and hydromet services. These efforts are complemented by support to increase capacities for recovery readiness and disaster preparedness in conflict settings. In Morocco, technical assistance is helping to support two pilot cities design and prepare urban resilience strategies, and to prioritize three-to-five year financeable action plans that strengthen the country’s overall resilience to disasters.

At the end of FY20, GFDRR’s active portfolio in South Asia totaled 42 grants worth $27.1 million. In a region where rapid urbanization is putting pressure on critical infrastructure, a new India-led initiative, the Coalition for Disaster Resilience Infrastructure, is raising interest in resilient infrastructure investments. In FY20, GFDRR funded six proposals valued at $1.5 million for technical assistance in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan to enhance infrastructure for the transport, water, and energy sectors. In Afghanistan, the national government, with the support of GFDRR and the World Bank, has been making marked progress toward strengthening community-based DRM. In Sri Lanka, the government is striving to make the new early warning system deliver messages to people with visual, hearing, and other types of impairments. And in Nepal, a regional funding for disaster- and climate-resilient renewable energy has produced better technical designs and standards for renewable energy mini grids and generation facilities as well as operations manuals for emergency preparedness and recovery.