Strengthening the policy and regulatory framework for Disaster Risk Management in Tuvalu

Context and Objectives

Tuvalu is located in an area with frequent tropical cyclones bringing damaging winds, rains, and storm surge usually between the months of October and May. In 2015 Cyclone Pam displaced 45 percent of the population of Tuvalu. The wind speeds associated with these cyclones can generate moderate to severe damage to buildings, infrastructure, and crops with significant economic losses.  While no significant earthquakes have been recorded in Tuvalu in recent history, it is surrounded by the Pacific “ring of fire” and as such is exposed to tsunamis. 

This project provides technical and analytical support to the relevant ministries and agencies to review existing Disaster Risk Management (DRM) policies, plans, and regulations, potential gaps, and identifies priority reform actions for the Government. These activities would lead to enhanced capacity for implementation of the National Strategic Action Plan for Climate Change and DRM.

Main Activities

  • Component 1: Disaster Risk Reduction Policies and Regulations. This component assists the Government with analysis of current policies and regulatory frameworks, and identifies areas where strengthening and harmonization is needed for effective DRM, particularly risk reduction.
  • Component 2: Resilient Disaster Recovery. This component supports policy dialogue and targeted technical inputs to the Government’s review process for the 2008 National Disaster Act, the 2012 National DRM Arrangements, and national contingency plans.

Results

This project has provided the analytical inputs to the policy reforms supported under the Tuvalu First Resilience Development Policy Operation with a Catastrophe-Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat-DDO), which was approved by the World Bank Board in December 2019. Specifically, support was provided to the following areas:

  • The Tuvalu Asset Management Framework (TAMF) was developed to ensure that public sector infrastructure assets in Tuvalu deliver their intended functions with economic efficiency,without compromising public health and safety. The TAMF aims to improve asset performance, resilience, and service life, including by integrating resilience in infrastructure design to reduce vulnerability to natural hazards and improved monitoring and maintenance of assets to extend asset-life, while adopting a risk-based approach for prioritizing investments. 
  • The Building Act of 2019 was developed, which supports a shift in focus from managing disasters to addressing the underlying drivers of physical risk. Reducing risk to buildings, especially residential ones, is crucial to saving lives and protecting communities, as more resilient buildings are fundamental to the safety of occupants during tropical cyclones. The Building Act became effective on July 1, 2019, and focuses on disaster risk reduction and climate change impacts. 

This work has provided valuable support to the government of Tuvalu in the form of technical inputs, analysis, and assistance to relevant ministries and agencies to improve DRM and CCA integration in policies and institutional frameworks.

Partnerships and Coordination

The project is implemented by the World Bank in close collaboration with Tuvalu's Climate Change and Disaster Policy Unit, Disaster Management Office, National Disaster Committee, and relevant sectoral agencies. 

Country
Region
  • Pacific
Window of Action
  • Window 2
Amount approved
  • $200,000
Co-financing
  • $0
Duration
  • 05/2019 - 08/2021