South and West Asia Regional Aid Program Performance Report 2018-19
Summary of publication
This report summarises the performance of Australia's South Asia regional aid program from July 2018 to June 2019 against the South Asia Regional Aid Investment Plan (AIP) 2015-16 to 2018-19.
Strong domestic consumption in South Asia is propelling growth of 7 per cent, the strongest of any region globally. Continued growth outperformance is a tangible longer term prospect. However, structural impediments need to be addressed if this growth, and attendant poverty alleviation for the region's 300m poor, are to be realised. Poor connectivity between the countries of South Asia and the world inflates costs and erodes competitiveness. While the policy and regulatory challenge of resolving this is serious, the region's investment needs are immense. Resource insecurity looms as another growth risk. Urbanisation and industrialisation, key drivers of growth, will falter if water insecurity is not addressed. Australia's $24 million development program is helping the region move forward on both fronts.
Rating of the Program's progress towards Australia's aid objectives
|Objective||Previous Rating||Current Rating|
|Objective 1: Increased water, food and energy security in South Asia to facilitate economic growth and improve the livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable.||Green||Green|
|Objective 2: Increased regional connectivity through trade facilitation and infrastructure.||Green||Amber|
Objective 1: Increased water, food and energy security in South Asia to facilitate economic growth and improve the livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable (particularly women and girls)
This objective was rated green.
Gender considerations were met across the Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio (SDIP). There has been measurable impact on food, water and energy security, with investments resulting in 21.5 million cubic metres of water and 2.5 million MWh of power being saved in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan. This led to a reduction of 106,036 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in the reporting period.
Objective 2: Increased regional connectivity through trade facilitation and infrastructure connectivity
This objective was rated amber.
Despite the busy election season in South Asia, contributions were made towards delivering regional connectivity infrastructure projects across South Asia. Research and analysis of gaps in energy in the region, transport and climate change improved the quality of World Bank projects. But public diplomacy and visibility of the South Asia Regional Trade Facilitation Program did not meet expectations. As this program enters its final period of implementation, lessons learned will be applied to the South Asia Regional Infrastructure Connectivity Program.
Headline management actions for 2019-20
Objective 1: Increased water, food and energy security in South Asia to facilitate economic growth and improve the livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable.
Independent evaluation of SDIP finalised, continued work on communication between key stakeholders, increased focus on climate change adaption and mitigation, strengthened gender equity focus.
Objective 2: Increased regional connectivity through trade facilitation and infrastructure.
Closer relationship with World Bank, reassessment of required resources, finalisation of South Asia Regional Aid Investment Plan by October 2019.