The World Bank has approved a financing package to increase flood resilience and access to urban infrastructure in selected neighborhoods and to improve urban management in Liberia. The Liberia Urban Resilience Project (LURP) financed by the International Development Association (IDA) in the amount of $40 million ($20 million grant and $20 million credit), will focus on participative community infrastructure and access to basic services in poor and vulnerable communities and market areas.
The LURP will mitigate climate and flood risks through structural and non-structural measures and provide basic services and infrastructure investments in underserved neighborhoods and strengthen institutional capacity for urban planning and management. Investments in drainage infrastructure will improve connectivity of drainage networks and are targeted to reduce climate and flood risk. Priority neighborhoods have been selected that are perennially affected by flooding. Associated neighborhood and market upgrading interventions will improve living and working conditions and access to public services. The project will enhance the protection of natural assets, such as mangroves and wetlands which play a critical role in helping Greater Monrovia to manage flooding impacts, and have multiple other environmental, economic and social benefits.
“The project’s support to upgrading urban infrastructure for flood risk resilience and improved service delivery will have a positive transformational impact on urban neighborhoods,” said Khwima Nthara, World Bank Liberia Country Manager.
The project will also invest in strengthening the institutional capacity of the government and community in resilient integrated urban planning, in Greater Monrovia, including Paynesville, as well as the next three largest cities in Liberia: Buchanan, Ganta, and Gbarnga. This will include support for the development of spatial, development and operational service delivery plans, as well as building human, technical and fiscal capacity to implement these plans through relevant national and local government Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
The project targets at least 200,000 persons to benefit from protection against flooding and the neighborhood upgrading activities. An additional 300 beneficiaries from local and national government will gain assistance from the project’s capacity building and technical assistance investment due to their involvement in project implementation.
“The project’s integrated approach ensures adequate investments in infrastructure, human, and institutional capacities, as well as support to effective systems for urban development control, including improvements of land use planning and construction permitting,” said Co-Task Team Leaders Linus Pott and Robert Reid.
The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) will be providing technical assistance to strengthen local community participation in the identification and prioritization of climate resilient investments at the community level and assess the potential of the Monrovia wetlands to mitigate urban flood risks. The Government of Japan is also supporting the project through the Japan-World Bank Program for Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management in Developing Countries, providing a flood risk assessment of Greater Monrovia as well as analytics on resilient urban planning and development control.