Countries worldwide are navigating their way out of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, while facing the adverse effects of climate change. The world needs innovative approaches to build back better, mitigate and adapt to the biggest development challenges of our time. Mindful of this need, the World Bank Group has been engaging with the governments of Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka to help increase access to and use of digital technologies and pave the way for a green, resilient, and inclusive development (GRID).
In the Maldives, we are working to understand climate change and support adaptation better. Our work in Sri Lanka is helping build more resilient public services. In Nepal, we aim to mobilize private capital to close digital access gaps in rural and mountainous regions.
Maldives: Adapting to climate change
Maldives faces existential risks with climate change and rising sea levels. While engaging in global discussions on decarbonization, it is also looking to diversify its economy beyond tourism and fisheries, while decentralizing service delivery beyond the crowded capital city of Malé. For all of these, Maldives is looking at using digital tools.
Our engagement thus far with the Government set the stage for improving the country’s connectivity with the global internet and increasing access to affordable broadband across the country’s many islands. Presently, a third of the population lives without such access, limiting public service delivery such as online learning or telemedicine. Connectivity challenges also limit the country’s ability to monitor and collect data on climate change’s impact on sea levels, coastlines, and weather patterns.
Smart climate adaptation measures rely on data for climate models and predictions. Data also informs design, decision making, planning, and monitoring of adaptation measures and policies. Thus, improving the reach of networks and data processing capacity in the Maldives can help design better approaches to climate resilience, provide farmers with information that can enhance food security, and reduce the risks of disasters. Building on this, the World Bank is now working towards strengthening and supporting the implementation of the country’s national adaptation plan through the establishment of a shared data platform for adaptation.
Leave a Reply