ADB Announces US$200 Million Goal for Water Resilience Program

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) joined with partners at COP27 to announce the ambition to mobilise more than US$200 million from 2021 to 2025 to build water and sanitation resilience and security in Asia and the Pacific.

The Asia and the Pacific Water Resilience Initiative is also known as RUWR. The acronym stands for “Are You Water Resilient?”—a collaborative platform spearheaded by ADB’s Water Sector Group to support member countries become water-secure and resilient, by addressing gaps, needs, and opportunities at the local level.

Building on the mobilisation of more than US$80 million in 2021–2022, ADB has welcomed new support to take effect in 2023. The Government of the Netherlands is supporting the initiative with a US$20 million contribution to the newly established Water Resilience Trust Fund, which falls under the banner of RUWR and will focus on adaptation, innovation, and inclusivity to accelerate water resilience.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is providing US$10 million to the Sanitation Financing Partnership Trust Fund under the initiative, which will help expand inclusive urban sanitation services; pilot and upscale sanitation technology and innovations; and support policies and capacities to deliver inclusive, resilient, and sustainable sanitation systems. 

The contributions from the Netherlands and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will add to the US$115.9 million grant financing received from partners under the Water Financing Partnership Facility (WFPF), which has supported 113 ADB investment projects in 20 countries since 2006. Other funding partners of WFPF are the governments of Spain and Austria.

“In the face of more frequent and severe flooding, as well as in drought-affected areas, lack of resilient sanitation systems is a major public health hazard. The spread of disease from poor sanitation has the greatest impact on the poorest families in vulnerable, disaster-prone areas,” said the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation President Rodger Voorhies.

“Our support to the Sanitation Financing Partnership Trust Fund is a pledge to our continued partnership with the Asian Development Bank in building systems, knowledge, and capacity for urban water resilience in the region and ensuring that sanitation is central to this effort.” 

ADB plans to allocate more than US$120 million in grants from 2023 to 2025 toward water and sanitation security and resilience to support the initiative. It has also established a technical assistance (TA) cluster of US$8 million, called Mainstreaming Water Resilience in Asia and the Pacific, which will manage the RUWR. The TA cluster is funded by ADB resources, the e-Asia and Knowledge Partnership Fund, and the Japan Fund for a Prosperous and Resilient Asia and the Pacific.

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