Palestinian Territories: Partnership for Infrastructure Development (PID): Programmatic Multi-donor Trust Fund – World Bank Report

Full Report

Summary
Key Updates

This semi-annual report provides an update on the financial data and implementation progress (IP) of activities co-financed under the Partnership for Infrastructure Development Multi-Donor Trust Fund (PID MDTF). The most recent annual report was finalized following the Oversight Group (OG) meeting in October 2018 and covered the period September 2017- August 2018. The reporting period for this semi-annual report includes an update of the six months following this period, until February 28, 2019. As agreed at the latest OG annual meeting, the reporting period for the next Annual Report will be adjusted to align with the World Bank’s Fiscal Year (FY) and is going to span the period of July 2018 to June 2019.

Results. Activities co-financed under the PID MDTF continue making good progress towards achieving the intended development results.The Program Results Matrix with outcome indicators for the projects co-financed by the PID MDTF has been updated with the current progress against the baseline and project targets. Please see a summary of results matrix in Table 1 while the detailed results matrix is in Annex 1. Updates for key outcome indicators of the recently launched operations will become available during first months of implementation and be included in the next Annual Report. Active projects highlights are found in Table 2.

Detailed Implementation Completion and Results Reports (ICRs) were prepared and published during the reporting period for two operations that have closed last FY: (i) Northern Gaza Emergency Sewage Treatment (NGEST) Project; and (ii) The Gaza Sustainable Water Supply Project (GSWSP). The ICRs assessed that NGEST has achieved its Project Development Objective (PDO) with a ‘Moderately Satisfactory’ rating; and rated the PDO achievement for GSWSP as ‘Satisfactory. These are remarkable achievements given the challenging context of the Gaza Strip. A more detailed summary of ICR ratings is included in the water sector section.

Overall, closed investment operations co-financed by the PID MDTF have directly benefited 1.9 million persons (50 percent women), restored basic water supply and wastewater infrastructure which has contributed to improving the quality and efficiency of water supply and wastewater services. The investments helped avoiding the break out of disease and contributed to a 74.6 percent improvement in wastewater effluent in the Gaza Strip. With the completion of NGEST, a critically needed long-term solution to the wastewater treatment issues in the Northern Gaza Strip has been provided. As a result, more than 400,000 people are directly benefitting from improved sanitation services in north Gaza; and the project addressed the immediate threat to communities living adjacent to the Beit Lahia sewage lakes, around 52,000 inhabitants. The project also achieved to (i) upgrade the existing power grid to connect all project components to a permanent power supply with an average of 20 hours electricity per day; (ii) construct, test, commission and operate the North Gaza Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) with a capacity of 35,000 CM per day; (iii) commission the recovery schemes with effluent recovery wells constructed and functional; and (iv) establish an Operations and Maintenance (O&M) plan, including increases of O&M financing and cost recovery for the WWTP.

The GSWSP supported developing of a complete set of detailed designs, bidding documents, and the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the Associated Works under the Gaza Central Desalination Program (GCDP). Preparation of a Bank-financed project with co-financing from the PID MDTF is currently underway to launch construction of the Associated Works in the Southern Gaza Strip with the objective to increase coverage and quality of water supply in Gaza.

Pledges. To date, nine donors are active under the PID MDTF. The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) joined the trust fund in December 2018 with a contribution of GBP18 million (US$23.47 million equivalent). Sweden has replenished the PID MDTF with SEK90 million (US$9.70 million equivalent), and Norway with an amount of NOK73 million (US$8.51 million equivalent). In total, new contributions sum up to US$41.68 million equivalent, bringing the total pledges of the PID MDTF to US$186.4 million. Please see Table 3 for the distribution of pledges by donor.

Discussions are ongoing with other partners such as the European Commission (EC) and the Australian Representative Office who have expressed interest in principle to join the PID MDTF.

Commitments. Funding in the amount of US$123.5 million has been committed: US$120 million to Recipient-executed activities implemented through the Palestinian Authority (PA); and US$3.5 million to Bank-executed activities for analytical work and Technical Assistance (TA) implemented by the World Bank (WB). Progress has been made in consolidating PID MDTF activities under a more programmatic approach. Currently, a total of eight Grant Agreements (GAs) are now active under theTF071898 (including the trust fund management grant), down from seventeen GAs in the last reporting period (September 1, 2017 to August 31,2018). Disbursements have reached US$78.4 million, equivalent to 64 percent of the total commitments (see Table 4). Program and Trust Fund (TF) management commitments have been kept at US$700,000, with disbursements through February 28, 2019 at US$465,600.

New and planned operations. The Additional Financing (AF) to the Electricity Sector Performance Improvement Project (ESPIP) was approved by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors in January 2019, with a total amount of US$12 million, of which US$7 million is financed from the PID MDTF and another US$5 million from the World Bank’s Trust Fund for Gaza and the West Bank (TFGWB). Preparation of a follow-up operation is currently under discussion with the Palestinian Energy and National Resources Authority (PENRA).The proposed program would be developed applying a Multiphase Programmatic Approach (MPA), with the Concept Note (CN) expected by May 2019. Tentative allocation from the PID MDTF would be US$18 million.

An AF to the Third Municipal Development Project (MDP-3) in the amount of US$15 million for scaling up of labor-intensive municipal service delivery in Gaza is in the last stage of preparation and scheduled for submission to the World Bank Board of Executive Directors for approval in May 2019. The MDP-3 AF would be financed with US$10 million from the TFGWB and US$5 million from the PID MDTF. The GCDP Associated Works Phase I Project is also under preparation with total financing of US$42 million, of which US$27 million from the PID MDTF and US$15 million from the TFGWB. Project pre-appraisal has been launched in March 2019, with formal appraisal expected in June and Board approval scheduled in August 2019.

A tentative allocation of US$3 million has been made to the Real Estate Registration Project (RERP) currently under preparation. US$2 million have been allocated to address the financing gap under the Local Governance and Services Improvement Program (LGSIP) currently under implementation. Although the GA for the Gaza Solid Waste Management Project (GSWMP) in the amount of US$0.75 million remains pending, the Bank has clarified with the PA the funding needs and allocations during the recently completed Project Mid Term Review (MTR). The PID allocation will be used for the closure of the current Sofa and Deir el Balah dumpsites. Finally, US$800,000 are allocated to the Bank-executed Support to the Palestinian Land Sector Advisory Support.

Total allocations sum up to US$55.48 million, as per the details provided in Table 5. Fund allocations and remaining funding needs for proposed and ongoing operations co-financed under the PID MDTF are presented in Table 6.

Cross-cutting themes. Activities financed under the PID MDTF support rolling-out several cross-cutting initiatives that are highly relevant across the sectors. These include the World Bank’s new framework for social and environmental development, but also mainstreaming of youth, gender, and citizen engagement across the portfolio.

Environmental and Social Development. The new WB Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) became effective on October 1, 2018. All WB operations with a CN approved after that date will apply the new ESF. Currently, all operations in the pipeline for co-financing under the PID MDTF had their CNs approved prior to that date and will apply the Bank’s safeguards policies in effect prior to launching the new ESF. In the meantime, the Bank environmental and social team is providing training and capacity building support to the Project Management Units and responsible line agencies to prepare them for the new ESF.

Youth. The Bank is supporting the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) in its efforts to mainstream youth in the water sector.This initiative is funded by the Norway West Bank and Gaza Single Donor TF, which provides parallel financing for technical and advocacy support to the water sector operations under implementation with co-financing from the PID MDTF. As of April 2018, a Youth Committee (YC) was established, composed of a multidisciplinary group of seventeen young professionals between 20-35 years old. The YC was established following a series of consultations with different stakeholders and several activities designed and implemented by the PWA to further structure this body. The initiative aims at operationalizing the YC towards becoming an active youth arm of the PWA in the water sector, contributing to policy development, service delivery enhancement and monitoring and evaluation of service providers. In collaboration with the water sector stakeholders, the YC will define and coordinate activities for youth that will enhance economic participation, increase youth voice and agency, and amplify youth benefits.

Gender. All activities under preparation and implementation with co-financing from the PID MDTF are fully integrated in the Bank’s Assistance Program for the Palestinian territories and the Bank has developed a Country Gender Action Plan (C-GAP) to strengthen and measure gender-sensitivity in Bank-financed operations. The Second Country Gender Action Plan (C-GAP II) for the Palestinian territories FY2018-21 is currently under implementation. A gender team is in place to conduct gender screening of all pipeline projects and then provide support to task teams during preparation and implementation of projects. The concerted effort to focus on gender has reaped positive results: for FY2018 and FY2019 to date, 81 percent of projects have been considered gender tagged. All PID MDTF co-financed projects are gender tagged. Recently prepared operations, such as the ESPIP and MDP-3, have received targeted support from assigned World Bank Gender Specialists and are designed with particular attention to Palestinian women. The projects include specific activities and indicators to support female economic empowerment and strengthen women’s voice and agency, aligned with the Bank’s Assistance Strategy’s (FY18-21) call for more attention to the future of work for women. Under ESPIP, the Bank is engaging Palestinian female entrepreneurs through provision of rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and new employment opportunities in the renewable energy sector. MDP-3 is aiming for a high quota of female engagement during project consultation, but there is further room to strengthen the way results indicators and project

reporting capture gender-specific issues. For example, how are considerations of women and their families being integrated into the decisions made for and by the community; and how are these decisions making a difference? Two areas have been selected to reflect better how women’s voice and agency is being strengthened: (i) enhancing Local Government Units (LGUs) reporting capacity; and (ii) developing a more targeted, gender disaggregated analysis of the Local Government Performance Assessment survey results.

Citizen Engagement. Mainstreaming citizen engagement represents an important element in the Bank’s Assistance Strategy for the WB&G. Specific indicators of citizen feedback or effective grievance redress have been integrated in PID MDTF co-financed projects, including but not limited to ESPIP and MDP-3. One of the key entry points has been the integration of systems of citizen feedback and citizen participation into municipal development. In fact, Palestine is first in the region to measure citizen perceptions of outcomes related to participatory municipal processes.

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2019-07-19T17:57:20-04:00

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