WB approves US$2,2m grant 

Source: WB approves US$2,2m grant | The Herald

WB approves US$2,2m grant
Mukami Kariuki

Business Reporter
THE World Bank (WB) has approved a US $2,2 million grant for Zimbabwe’s recovery and resilience projects to address the devastating impact of Cyclones Idai and Kenneth in March last year.

The grant represents one of rare occasions when Zimbabwe gets funding from the global lender, which has not given the country any commercial loans since 2001 over outstanding debt.

“We are pleased to notify you that the World Bank confirms that the conditions of effectiveness of the grant have been met. Consequently, the grant agreement becomes effective 14 May, 2020,” said Mukami Kariuki, World Bank country manager for Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe has missed out on a number of disaster and reconstruction funding packages from all multilateral lenders, more recently the International Monetary Fund’s cocktail of multi-million packages to address the impact of Covid-19, over the said unpaid loans.

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED), which is the grant recipient, will implement the project with the involvement of a number of other ministries.

As such, the cyclone recovery and resilient project entails the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare  as well as the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing also participating.

The World Bank’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development or International Development Association has agreed to provide financing for the project.

Zimbabwe is expected to implement material measures and actions so that the projects are implemented in accordance with the environmental and social standards.

In 2019, cyclones Idai and Kenneth ripped through parts of Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi killing thousands, affecting millions and homes and other infrastructure leaving scores in need of humanitarian assistance to protect and rebuild livelihoods.

As such, the Environmental and Social Commitment Plan (ESCP) sets out material measures and actions, any specific documents or plans, as well as the timing for each of them.

Implementation of the material measures and actions set out in the ESCP will be monitored and reported to the World Bank.

The bank will monitor and assess progress and completion of the material measures and actions throughout implementation of the project.

“As agreed by the bank and the recipient through MoFED, this ESCP may be revised from time to time during project implementation, to reflect adaptive management of project changes and unforeseen circumstances or in response to assessment of project performance conducted under the ESCP itself,” World Bank said.

In such circumstances, the recipient through the Ministry of Finance will agree to the changes with the bank and will update the ESCP to reflect such changes.

Where project changes, unforeseen circumstances, or project performance result in changes to the risks and impacts during project implementation, the ministry shall provide additional funds, if needed, to implement actions and measures to address such risks and impacts.