Norway and Sweden set up poverty and environment fund

The governments of Norway and Sweden have set up a joint USD 3.6 million Poverty and Environment Fund to be administered by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the bank announced from its Manila headquarters 22 July.
     Norway and Sweden will make initial contributions of NOK 17 million and SEK 10 million respectively to the fund over three years.
     The fund, approved by ADB’s Board of Directors, is a multidonor umbrella facility that will focus on small-scale environment-related interventions that promote poverty reduction.
     It will finance technical assistance projects and other activities in three main areas:
• Protection, conservation, and sustainable use of natural resources and ecosystem services
• Reduction of air and water pollution
• Disaster prevention and reduction of vulnerability to natural hazards.
     “The fund will help finance pilot environmental interventions that reduce poverty or help poor people to contribute to environmental management,” says Rolf Zelius, Deputy Director General and Chief Compliance Officer of ADB’s Regional and Sustainable Development Department. “Pilot activities under the fund will demonstrate innovative institutional arrangements, participatory approaches, or technical solutions with clear potential for successful replication, mainstreaming, and up scaling elsewhere.”
     The fund will also finance research and studies that can form the basis of policy dialogue, raising awareness, and building capacity on poverty-environment linkages. It will also support dissemination of lessons learned and compilation of good practices for addressing the environmental dimensions of poverty.
     The first installments will be remitted upon signing of the channel financing agreements/arrangements (CFAs). As other donors are identified, their contributions will be effected through the signing of similar CFAs, subject to ADB management approval.

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