This Bank Procedure statement was updated in June 2010 to clarify the use of the Rapid Response Committee (RRC).
NOTE: OP and BP 8.00, Rapid Response to Crises and Emergencies, together replace OP/BP 8.50, Emergency Recovery Assistance, dated August 1995. These statements apply to emergency operations submitted for the approval of the Executive Directors on or after March 1, 2007. Questions on this policy should be addressed to email@example.com.
1. Initiation of Bank1 Emergency Response. Emergency situations are immediately reported to the Regional Vice President (RVP)/Managing Director (MD) of the affected Region with a notice to the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and the Vice President, Operations Policy and Country Services.2 In consultation with the affected Region(s), the MD may decide to declare a “corporate emergency” in situations that require the mobilization of technical, financial, or institutional resources that are beyond what the RVP can provide and/or involve a degree of reputational risk that argues for a corporate review/response. The MD’s decision is communicated to the relevant departments internally.
2. The Rapid Response Committee. In case of “corporate emergencies,” the MD convenes the Rapid Response Committee (RRC) on the basis of an expanded membership of the Operations Committee (OC).3 For other emergencies, depending on the extent and nature, the RVP determines whether to establish an RRC in consultation with the country director (CD).4 All emergency operations to which OP 8.00 applies are coded as such in Bank operational and financial systems, making them subject to streamlined procedures and reduced turnaround standards.5
3. Designated Emergency Staff. To ensure adequate legal and fiduciary support to emergency operations, task teams include designated emergency staff from the Regions (Legal, Financial Management, Loan, Procurement, and Safeguards), supported by designated staff from the anchor units. Additional operational and technical support is provided, as necessary, through the callable roster, with decisions on cross-country and cross-Regional staff deployment recorded through the RRC.6
4. Internal Review of Emergency Operations. Emergency operations undergo a single Decision Review Meeting that confirms completion of appraisal and authorizes negotiations.7 The Decision Review Meeting is held following a combined identification-preparation-appraisal mission and is based on a review of a complete negotiations package, eliminating the need for sequential clearances from the Bank’s various safeguards and fiduciary departments. The minutes of the Decision Review Meeting include a record of clearances and, as appropriate, conditions for concluding negotiations.
5. Negotiations and Borrower Readiness for Signature. At negotiations, agreement is reached with the borrower on all key aspects of the project and on the terms and conditions of the loan as set out in the legal agreement(s). To the maximum extent practicable, at negotiations, task teams obtain all legal documentation necessary to facilitate the borrower's timely signature of project legal documents.8
6. Effectiveness. Following Board approval,9 legal agreements are signed and projects are declared effective in accordance with simplified Procedural Guidelines.
7. Project Implementation. The rapid delivery of emergency assistance is facilitated through streamlined financial management, procurement, and disbursement procedures:
a) rapid processing of withdrawal applications and additional flexibility on financing eligibility and direct payments/use of letters of credit;
b) the application of higher prior review thresholds;
c) increased flexibility on the use of simplified procurement methods;
d) the ability to draw on pre-qualified procurement and project management agents through sole-source or qualification-based selection; and
e) expedited procedures for establishing and activating trust funds.10
The risks associated with the need for greater speed in the processing and implementation of emergency operations are addressed through more intensive supervision on the part of task teams.
8. Delegation of Decisionmaking Authority. The rapid preparation and implementation of emergency operations should be facilitated through the delegation of decisionmaking authority to task teams and country based Bank officials. Delegation of authority could be provided through the country director to enable country-based Bank officials to approve Project Preparation Advance (PPAs), sign legal agreements and coordinate with sector teams. Similarly, task teams are normally given a higher degree of clearance/decisionmaking authority for procurement, financial management, and safeguards actions.
9. Processing Timelines. For emergency projects of a simple design, task teams should aim to seek Board approval within 10 weeks from initiation of project discussion with government. For simple project restructuring, task teams should aim to seek approval within 4 weeks.11