Southeast Asia is home to an estimated 36 million people living below the international poverty line, about 5% of the global total. If efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in this region are to succeed, undertaking disaster risk-informed developments is not a choice, but a necessity. Natural hazards impact large areas throughout the region, leaving an average financial loss of approximately $5 billion a year—a figure that is growing as climate change, population, economic development, and unplanned urbanization increase. In the last 3 decades, disasters triggered by natural hazards resulted in affected population of more than 397 million. It is in this context that the Government of Canada and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) established the Integrated Disaster Risk Management (IDRM) Fund in February 2013. The Fund was created to advance proactive integrated disaster risk management measures on a regional basis within ADB’s developing member countries in Southeast Asia, specifically, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam. During its operation, the IDRM Fund funded 19 technical assistance projects.
The IDRM Fund provided incentives for leveraging further investments in IDRM by supporting grant components of investment projects, stand-alone grant investment projects, technical assistance, direct charges, and other activities agreed on between the Government of Canada and ADB to support activities in line with ADB’s IDRM approach.
A specific requirement was for projects to reflect regional solutions that produce cross-border disaster management. Moreover, actions set out in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Programme and which were common to the priorities of the IDRM Fund were eligible for support. A gender-focused approach to IDRM was another primary consideration for activities to be covered by the IDRM Fund. All projects were screened from a gender lens. Within these parameters, six outputs were identified as funding priority areas:
(i) enhanced risk identification and analysis;
(ii) increased investment in disaster risk reduction;
(iii) improved access to disaster risk finance solutions, including for the poor and poor women;
(iv) scaling up of community-based and genderfocused approaches;
(v) increased regional cooperation of IDRM; and
(vi) enhanced knowledge and tools for IDRM.
The outcome indicators of the IDRM Fund were achieved, including an increased number of IDRM projects in participating countries and the growing availability of various IDRM-related tools to meet demand from stakeholders, especially vulnerable groups and, particularly, women. Advancing gender equity in DRM was achieved, with support provided to implement gender-focused pilots on strengthening community resilience, setting targets to ensure the participation of women in project activities, organizing policy dialogue to raise awareness and gain highlevel commitment for advancing the role of women in resilience building, and developing a knowledge product on women-focused investments in climate and disaster resilience. Approximately 25% of the total fund has supported activities with gender equality as its key focus. Supporting disaster risk managementrelated priorities of ASEAN was achieved. The total direct support provided by the IDRM Fund toward the implementation of the AADMER Work Programme amounted to approximately 11% of the total amount of allocation approved and supported five out of the eight priority areas of the AADMER Work Programme.
The specific format of the IDRM Fund raised some early issues, in particular, (i) the regional (three countries) characteristic of the Fund at times limited its usage within ADB, given its focus on single countries; (ii) the approach ADB adopted to allow civil society organizations and community-based organizations, which typically do not function at a regional level, to apply for the Fund through an umbrella regional technical assistance; (iii) the significant demand from partners to collaborate with ADB under the Fund and the need to manage expectations in view of the limited availability of resources under the Fund; (iv) the need for flexibility to seize time-bound opportunities and meet new demands to strengthen resilience, such as after large-scale disasters; and (v) ADB’s efforts to foster partnerships by proactively encouraging joint proposals from regional partners that address critical gaps in ongoing regional programs. These matters were dealt with by minor modifications to the Design and Monitoring Framework and which enhanced the positive contribution the IDRM Fund made, not least of which was because all approved projects were demand-driven.
- Asian Development Bank
- © Asian Development Bank