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World Bank launches Resilient Asia Program to bolster climate resilience in South Asia

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New Delhi | October 30, 2023 10:17:30 AM IST
In an effort to address the formidable challenges of climate change and enhance environmental resilience in South Asia, the World Bank has initiated the Resilient Asia Program (RAP).

Funded by the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, this program is envisioned to be the driving force behind transformative climate action in the region.

The Resilient Asia Program will play a pivotal role in advancing climate resilience and fostering regional cooperation across South Asia. The program's core mission revolves around four crucial areas.

RAP will focus on enhancing knowledge and understanding of the impact of climate change on South Asia. This entails comprehensive research and analysis to further the region's preparedness for climate-related challenges.

One of the primary objectives is to bolster the capacity of South Asian nations in planning, designing, and executing policies and investments aimed at enhancing climate resilience. Furthermore, this capacity-building process will be closely linked to preserving biodiversity.

RAP will actively facilitate climate investments in South Asia, with a particular focus on high-impact climate action. This seeks to channel resources into projects and initiatives that make a significant difference in climate resilience and sustainability.

In recognition of the transboundary nature of climate challenges, RAP will foster regional cooperation and work toward building resilience regarding shared environmental, climate, and water resources.

South Asia faces considerable vulnerability to hydro-meteorological and climate shocks. Therefore, the program supports the South Asia Hydromet Forum (SAHF), aimed at boosting collaboration and enhancing regional capacity in hydromet, early warning, and climate services.

RAP aids the development and implementation of a Regional Air Quality Management Program to address the severe air pollution issues affecting Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan. This program is set to facilitate coordination, convening, and the exchange of knowledge among partner institutions.

The program actively promotes a dialogue for water resource management among Assam, Bangladesh, and Bhutan, focusing on restoring the ancient water channels in the Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta.

RAP supports the enhancement of the Sundarbans ecosystem's resilience by prioritizing investments to protect natural capital and strengthen local communities' adaptability to changing conditions. It places a significant emphasis on sustainable and inclusive growth.

Recognizing the growing challenge of heat stress in South Asia, RAP aims to facilitate policy decisions, provide research support, and establish a platform for regional countries to share best practices in coping with the common challenge of heat stress.

The Resilient Asia Program, a partnership between the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the World Bank, is a timely and critical initiative.

It's poised to help South Asian nations address the pressing issue of climate change while working together to build a resilient future for the region.

As climate-related disasters continue to impact over half of South Asia's population, this program is set to be an essential component of their response.

Jenny Bates, Director General for Indo-Pacific, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office emphasized the importance of this initiative, highlighting the UK government's generous support in tackling the climate crisis.

Bates said, "The UK's Resilient Asia Program partnership with the World Bank will develop climate resilience and improve natural resource management, benefitting many millions of people across South Asia and the wider Indo-Pacific".

Martin Raiser, Vice President, South Asia Region, World Bank, expressed the urgency of this program in helping South Asian nations cooperate and combat the climate crisis, especially considering the growing environmental challenges in the region

Raiser said, "More than half of the population in South Asia has been impacted by one or more climate-related disasters in the last two decades. The Resilient Asia Program made possible through the generous contributions of the UK government, is critical and timely to help the countries of South Asia tackle the climate crisis and work together for a resilient future". (ANI)

 
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