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European Commission - Press release

Commissioner Georgieva in Washington: forging ever closer ties with the World Bank and other international institutions

Brussels, 21 September 2011 - The Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva will visit the USA from 21-25 September for a round of high-level meetings when she will promote dialogue on the urgent need to build disaster resilience.

"This is an important opportunity to share experiences and discuss the huge humanitarian challenges the world is facing, to seek global solutions to global problems and, most importantly, to tighten the bonds between Europe and the rest of the world in the area of humanitarian assistance," the Commissioner said.

"These discussions will provide a platform to highlight Europe's essential role in providing assistance in natural disaster and conflict situations. They will increase the momentum for tackling the ever-growing trouble spots by focussing on building up the resilience of vulnerable communities, particularly in areas like the Horn of Africa."

The Commissioner will participate in high-level panel discussions at the Annual Meetings Program of Seminars event hosted by the European Union, the Government of Japan and the World Bank, in partnership with the UK's Department for International Development and USAID.

The theme will be "Closing the Loop: Integrated Action of Disaster Resilience" – a priority area for the European Union. The event, co-organised by the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department, will be attended by Robert B. Zoellick, President of the World Bank, Valerie Amos, UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief, Rajiv Shah, USAID Administrator, Andrew Mitchell, UK Secretary of State for International Development (DFID), Sadako Ogata, President of JICA, Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator and Jun Azumi, Japan's Finance Minister.

Ms. Georgieva will also meet with the EU Country Directors of the World Bank, and discuss new funding strategies.

The Commissioner will highlight the EU’s role in disaster response and explore avenues for future US-EU humanitarian cooperation and response. The visit will lay the groundwork for next year's World Bank/IMF meeting in Tokyo and the G20 Mexico Presidency, where disaster risk reduction and building resilience will be the core themes.

On Saturday she will address the UN ministerial mini-summit on humanitarian response to the Horn of Africa crisis in New York.


World Bank Annual Meetings

The Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) each year bring together central bankers, ministers of finance and development, private sector executives, and academics to discuss issues of global concern, including the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, economic development, and aid effectiveness. This year's meeting will take place in Washington D.C. on 23-25 September 2011.

EU-World Bank Cooperation

One of the areas of cooperation between the institutions is in the area of "resilience". The World Bank-led Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) is recognized for its leadership and expertise role in mainstreaming disaster risk reduction at regional and country level, ensuring aid effectiveness and harmonization. Established in 2006, this Global Facility is a partnership of 36 countries and six international organizations committed to helping developing countries reduce their vulnerability to natural hazards and adapt to climate change. The partnership’s mission is to mainstream disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) in country development strategies by supporting a country-led and managed implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action (a 10-year UN plan to make the world safer from natural hazards)

The Commission is contributing € 60 million to this Global Facility managed by the World Bank. This amount comes from the 10th European Development Fund Intra-ACP programme, which reserves €180 million for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) activities at intra-ACP level. The 60 M€ contribution will be divided in two Trust Funds (single and multi donor, totalling 55 M€ and 5M€ respectively)

The overall objective of the programme is to contribute to sustainable development and poverty eradication by reducing the burden of disasters on the poor and the most vulnerable countries and population groups. This cooperation allows the European Commission and the ACP Group of States’ participation at the global dialogue on Disaster Risk Reduction, by ensuring full-fledged membership of the GFDRR’s Consultative Group. The latter meets twice a year. It is the policy making body that guides the GFDRR’s long-term strategic objectives while overseeing expected results.

The EC is engaged in strengthening its cooperation with the WB and the UN in the framework of the joint EU-UN-WB approach to Post Disaster Needs Assessment and Post Conflict Need Assessment.

The European Commission and Disaster Resilience

The Commission is keen to join forces with other development actors, humanitarian organisations, EU Member States, emerging donors, multilateral organisations and local authorities to promote the resilience of disaster prone countries.

The European Commission intends to address this through:

  • A commitment to more funding for targeted investments in Disaster Risk Reduction.

  • Better and more coordinated planning and programming frameworks between humanitarian and development actors. A good example of this already exists in South-East Asia where the World Bank and Commission staff are cooperating on local and national level to scale up community based Disaster Risk Reduction strategies.

  • More flexibility in funding following a disaster allowing a quicker resetting of priorities.

  • Build up local capacity and resilience structures in partner countries.

For more information

Commissioner Georgieva's website:

The European Commission's humanitarian aid:

Contacts :

David Sharrock (+32 2 296 89 09)

Irina Novakova (+32 2 295 75 17)

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