On December 19, 2022, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a US$400 million loan to support the Government of Indonesia in protecting an estimated 6.3 million people in cities across Indonesia from damage caused by flooding and in bolstering national flood resilience management.
The National Urban Flood Resilience Project (NUFReP) will help cities reduce the flood risk by increasing national and city-level flood risk management capacity and through investments for integrated urban flood risk management. It will also support the government in establishing and operationalizing a national urban flood resilience program.
Floods have had caused more damage to people and property in Indonesia than any other natural hazard over the past 20 years, and poor and vulnerable populations, who tend to live in exposed areas, lack access to basic services and fiscal support, and are without financial resources necessary to recover from losses, are usually the hardest hit. A quarter of Indonesia’s population (76 million people) live in high-risk flood zones, and a majority (42.6 million) are poor. Floods in Bima, West Nusa Tenggara Province, in 2016 forced more than two-thirds of the city to evacuate and caused more than US$65 million in losses; floods in Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan Province, in 2021 affected more than 100,000 people and damaged more than 35,000 homes.
The national urban flood resilience program supported by NUFReP will offer a menu of measures to help cities with different flood and climate risks in an integrated manner. This program will serve as a national umbrella program to help coordinate sources of financing and function as a knowledge hub to help Indonesian cities leverage good practices and continuously advance sector policy, practice, and innovation.
“Through the NUFReP, the integrated implementation of complementary grey and blue-green infrastructure, such as building with nature, has the potential to bring multiple benefits to our cities beyond flood risk reduction only,” said Director General for Water Resources, Ministry of Public Works and Housing, Jarot Widyoko. “This project will also strike a balance between engineered and non-structural measures, such as early warning systems and risk-informed development planning, that will help our cities and urban communities to mitigate and better prepare for future flood events. The Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing, together with the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) and the Ministry of Home Affairs are committed to the success of this project, which is visioned to also build local capacity and the community of practice on flood management across institutions.”
The NUFReP is expected to benefit residents in the cities of Banjarmasin, Bima, Gorontalo and Manado in North Sulawesi Province, Medan in North Sumatra Province, and Semarang in Central Java Province. The project will start by supporting flood risk analytics and planning as well as creating an extensive knowledge base from which to develop multi-year and multi-sectoral integrated urban flood resilience strategic plans. Then, the project will assist implementation of a multi-sectoral and integrated approach to urban flood resilience. Finally, the project will buttress a national program of management and project implementation by building capacity in urban flood risk management and by improving coordination and data and knowledge sharing across agencies and among cities.
“The World Bank stands ready to assist the Indonesian Government in strengthening Indonesia’s long-term flood resilience through integrated investments in disaster preparedness and resilience,” said Satu Kahkonen, World Bank Country Director for Indonesia and Timor-Leste. “Through NUFReP, local governments’ capacity to manage floods in urban areas, implement flood risk governance models, and innovative financing mechanisms are expected to improve. To address gender inequalities and build community resilience to floods, the project will also enhance women’s roles in decision making in both policy and subproject design.”
NUFReP will contribute to the Government’s vision of an equitable and prosperous Indonesia and the World Bank Group’s twin goals of eliminating extreme poverty and increasing shared prosperity. By making investments in flood risk reduction before floods happen, the project aims to save lives, avoid disaster losses, and improve the quality of urban environments.