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Financing Culture & Sustainable Development

Italian Trust Fund for Culture and Sustainable Development (ITFCSD)

(See below for list of activities associated with this trust fund and click here to download the full text document.  PDF 96.6 KB)

The Italian Trust Fund for Culture and Sustainable Development (ITFCSD) was established by the Italian Government in September 2000 with an initial amount of ITL 5 billion (US$2.39 million). This amount was increased by additional Euro 2.5 million (US$ 2.25 million) in 2001. A new Trust Fund was created in 2007 for nearly US$ 1 million. 

The purpose of the ITFCSD is to assist the Bank in the implementation of initiatives that advance the preservation, promotion and management of cultural assets and enhance cultural heritage related activities in developing countries, particularly those located in the Mediterranean Region. The ITFCSD provides support to the preparation and implementation of Bank-financed operations by funding research, policy and program analysis, economic and sector studies and training. It is also used to implement self-standing pilot projects entailing the appreciation of the cultural patrimony, the improvement of education, the share of information and knowledge, the diffusion of best practices.

The ITFCSD resources were committed to finance 20 projects between February 2002 and January 2004, for a total amount of about US$ 4.5 million. Investments have been made in 14 countries, both within the Mediterranean basin and worldwide, namely in Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, Egypt, Eritrea, Jordan, India, Iran, Macedonia, Morocco, Pakistan, Tunisia, Yemen. The most recent grants were allocated for activities in Afghanistan, Albania, Brazil, Morocco, Peru, Nile Basin Region, and ECA Region.
In general the ITFCSD development impact has been outstanding. The ITFCSD represents the major source of grants for cultural heritage activities, a role that has been further emphasized by a growing investments demand. Its resources are equal to about 0.8% of the aggregate cost of the Bank’s cultural heritage operations, intended both as comprehensive programs and single components of major urban, infrastructure, environment, social and community driven development programs, under implementation and/or in preparation.

The ITFCSD has been successful in drawing financial support and highly technical expertise in conjunction to some of Bank’s major cultural heritage programs. Among these, the reconstruction of the Mostar Bridge; the rehabilitation of the historic perimeter of Asmara and Massawa in Eritrea, and of the Fez Medina in Morocco; the setting of the Bardo Museum complex in Tunisia; the design of the tourism development strategy in Jordan and of the urban heritage conservation strategy in selected sites in China; the assessment of the cultural sector in Iran, which represents the milestones of the World Bank commitment in the field of cultural heritage in this country. Their impact in building best practices and transferring capacity to client countries has enhanced the sustainability of the cultural heritage programs. The ITFCSD resources have also been used to support the first damage assessment following the earthquake in Bam. 

Moreover, the ITFCSD is helping the Bank in enforcing the mandatory safeguard policy (OP 4.11 – Physical Cultural Resources) newly approved by the Board and replacing the Bank’s Policy Note (OPN 11.03 – Management of Cultural Property in Bank-financed Projects). This policy will require an assessment of the potential risks to physical cultural assets at an early stage in the project cycle for all the projects financed by the World Bank.

List of the ITFCSD activities


Grant Amount*

Peru: Vilcanota Valley Rehabilitation and Management Project 


Brazil: Municipal APL - Sao Luís Enhhancing Municipal Governance and Quality of Life Project


Morocco: Investment Strategies for Sustainable Tourism in Historic Cities  


Afghanistan: Kabul Urban Reconstruction Project   


Africa Region: Capacity Building for Integration of Cultural Resources Management into Development Programs and Projects in the Nile Basin Region


ECA Region: Cultural Heritage for Local Economic Development in the Balkans


Chongqing Urban Environment Project 


Macedonia Community Development and Culture Project 


Morocco Historic Centers Revitalization Program (Meknes) 


Morocco Fez Medina Resource Mobilization and Knowledge Exchange Conference 


Bosnia and Herzegovina Pilot Cultural Heritage Project 


Tunisia Cultural Heritage Project 


Eritrea Cultural Assets Rehabilitation Project 


Jordan Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Urban Development Project


Revitalization for Growth of Selected Crafts and Folk Performances In Rajasthan


International Exhibition and Policy Forum on the Mediterranean City at the Library of Alexandria - Egypt


Pilot Cultural Patrimony Education Program


Communications for Cultural and Natural Resources Management - Butrint Archeological Site and National Park


Safeguarding Physical Cultural Resources


Growth Strategy for Orissa, Sector Study and Project Identification


Iran Sustainable Urban Cultural Heritage Project


Improving Iran Cultural Heritage Organization Capacity in the Protection, Conservation and Social and Economic Exploitation of National Cultural Patrimony


Data Management System for Yemen National Museum in San’a


Armenia Heritage Management and Socio-Economic Regeneration in Rural Areas


Policy Dialogues and Seminars on Cultural Heritage Promotion, Economics and Management of Cultural Heritage, Participation of Private Sector in Cultural Heritage Management


Incorporating Tourism and Cultural Heritage Promotion in the Private Sector Development Strategy for Pakistan




            * figures in USD

 Download the report on completed ITFCSD Activities ( PDF 96.6 KB)

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