As an operational tool for catalyzing the World Bank’s support to fragile and conflict-affected countries, proposals for the State- and Peace-Building Fund may only be submitted by World Bank country teams.
All Bank member countries (IBRD and IDA-eligible countries, as well as countries in arrears) and non-members (on a case-by-case basis) are eligible for the SPF. Priority is given to countries with one or more of the following characteristics: arrears to IBRD and/or IDA; “fragile state/situation,” (reflecting poor governance and weak institutional capacity); the presence of a UN or regional peacekeeping or political mission; current violent conflict; violent conflict within the past 10 years; insufficient IDA grant allocations during a transition process when needs are high; and deteriorating situations, including an escalating risk of falling into arrears or violent conflict.
In addition to the overall eligibility criteria, proposals are required to provide justification for the use of funds based on the unique context of the projects. Funding from the SPF is considered most suitable where high-priority activities cannot be supported easily or in a timely fashion with regular IDA and IBRD resources and operations; there is a high likelihood that funding the activities would contribute to peace and development; and/or there is a high likelihood of scaling up operations or testing new approaches by leveraging government, donor, or additional Bank financing.
World Bank member countries and non member-territories and their agencies receive highest priority in the choice of implementing agencies. However, due to the typically low capacity of fragile states and other circumstances in which the government agrees on alternative implementation, agreements may be signed with agencies of the United Nations, regional organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and other public or private institutions acceptable to the Bank for the implementation of projects on behalf of the recipient countries. In certain exceptional situations, the Bank may also act as the implementing agency for activities financed by and SPF grant. To facilitate cross-country knowledge generation and sharing of experience, grants may also be provided to research and capacity building institutions with global or regional expertise in state- and peace-building topics.
The SPF is governed by a World Bank Director-level Committee and administered by the Fragile and Conflict Affected Countries Group (OPCFC) in Operations Policy and Country Services (OPCS). OPCFC reviews concept notes submitted by country teams, provides feedback, and forwards completed proposals to the SPF Committee for decision. Unlike most trust funds, the SPF Committee meets throughout the year, upon request from the Chair of the Committee. This allows the SPF to respond quickly to the needs of country teams, addressing urgent crises and taking advantage of windows of opportunity when they arise. As such, the SPF complements IDA, the Bank’s core financing source for low-income countries, as a funding instrument which is more flexible and immediately responsive to the unique needs of fragile and conflict-affected countries.
While donor countries are not represented on the SPF Committee, they are consulted for their views on the strategic direction of the Fund, occasionally involved in project monitoring and provided with regular information on the operations of the Fund.