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WB approves $60 million loan for Russian hydrometeorology service modernization

September 18, 2013, 12:23 UTC+3

The project will promote further integration of Russia’s meteorological and hydrological networks in the global meteorological community

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WASHINGTON, September 18 (Itar-Tass) - The World Bank’s Board of Directors on Tuesday approved a loan of $60 million to modernize and revamp Roshydromet (Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring) organizations and institutions, the press service of the World Bank reported.

The loan will be provided “to co-finance with the Russian Federation a US$139.50 million Second National Hydromet System Modernization Project (Roshydromet-2) in Russia. The project will assist the Russian Federal Service on Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring to further enhance the national capacity to deliver reliable and timely weather, hydrological and climate information to the Russian citizens, regional and municipal governments, and economic sectors dependent on weather, water, and climate. It will also foster country’s capacity to integrate into the global system of meteorological services,” according to the WB press release.

According to the World Bank press service, “In Russia’s regions prone to natural disasters the project will benefit citizens, regional and municipal governments, as well as weather-, water-, and climate- dependent economic sectors such as emergency, disaster reduction/civil protection, water resources management, civil aviation and transport, agriculture, health, energy, forestry, communal services, tourism, and maritime planning.”

It said that the project will promote “further integration of Russia’s meteorological and hydrological networks in the global meteorological community.” “The project will bring considerable benefits to the international hydrometeorological community by providing better access to reliable and abundant observation data from the vast territory of Russia, thus contributing to more accurate global forecasting. It will continue to play a catalytic role for strengthening hydrometeorological services in Central Asia where Roshydromet remains a recognized leader,” it said.

The World Bank stressed that the “project activities will focus on capacity building, infrastructure system enhancement, and quality of service delivery. Its strategic objectives will be achieved through support to the following three main areas of activity: strengthening Information Communication Technology infrastructure and systems delivering weather, climate and hydrological data and information; modernization of observation networks; and Institutional and regulatory strengthening, improved service delivery to clients and better preparedness for emergencies.”

“The project aims to achieve the following results: improved accuracy and timeliness of basic weather forecasts. At the end of the project, the forecasts with 168 hours lead time will exceed 70% accuracy for the main administrative centers of Russia against a baseline of less than 120 hours lead time in 2011; improved accuracy of seasonal river flow forecasts in the reservoirs in the Volga river basin whereby at the end of the project the accuracy of seasonal water inflow forecasts to reservoirs will exceed 85-90% against a baseline of 75-80% in 2011; increased number of sectoral users of Roshydromet’s data with anticipated annual growth of 5%; and improved client satisfaction, which is expected to reach 65% in 2015 and 75% at the end of the project,” the release says.

“The project complements the results of the first National Roshydromet Modernization Project (RosHydromet-1) and will further support climate change monitoring as an emerging national priority,” according to the release.

“The project will be financed by a Specific Investment Loan implemented on IBRD terms of a final maturity of 18 years including a grace period of 5 years, with project implementation over a five-year period,” the WB said.

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