The Executive Secretary of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Her Excellency Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax on 11th April, 2018 met the World Bank Coordinating Director for Regional Integration in Eastern and Southern Africa, Mr. Paul Noumba Um to discuss modalities on implementing a proposed Grant Agreement on Disaster Risk Reduction in the SADC Region.
In her remarks, H.E. Dr Tax welcomed Mr. Noumba Um and expressed her gratitude to the World Bank for its long standing relationship with the SADC Secretariat and Member States, in particular, the Bank’s commitment and interest to support SADC efforts on disaster risk reduction and mitigating the impact of climate change as proposed in the draft Grant Agreement on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). She underscored the need for SADC and the Bank to ensure that the proposed Grant Agreement on DRR is designed in a manner that ensures value for money, demonstrable impact and alignment to the SADC priorities, as espoused in the revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan and other SADC strategic frameworks.
In response, Mr Paul Noumba Um thanked the SADC Executive Secretary for the meeting between the SADC Secretariat and the Bank to discuss the way forward on the proposed Grant Agreement on DRR, saying the meeting offered an opportunity to understand how best the proposed project can be redesigned to meet the needs of the SADC Region. Mr Noumba Um said the World Bank is keen to roll out the proposed DRR project as soon as the implementation modalities are agreed upon by the two parties. He also informed the Executive Secretary that, as part of strengthening continuous dialogue between SADC and World Bank, the Bank’s Country Representative based in Gaborone, Botswana will soon present his credentials to the SADC Secretariat as the Bank’s representative to SADC.
At the end of the meeting, the two parties agreed to finalise the implementation modalities and activities in the proposed Grant Agreement, taking into account the SADC regional strategic priorities. The proposed Grant Agreement on DRR is expected to among other activities, support the operationalisation of the Regional Disaster Preparedness and Response Strategy and Fund that was approved by the SADC Council of Ministers in August 2017, and support the development of Regional Risk Insurance options and instruments towards strengthening resilience to climate related disasters.
During the meeting, Mr. Paul Noumba Um was accompanied by the World Bank Country Representative for Botswana Mr. Xavier Furtado. From the SADC Secretariat, the Executive Secretary was accompanied by the Deputy Executive Secretary-Regional Integration, Dr Thembinkosi Mhlongo, Director of Policy Planning and Resource Mobilisation (PPRM), Mr Mubita Luwabelwa and other Secretariat officials.