On December 8, 2011, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a new mechanism that will allow IDA countries to rapidly access up to 5 percent of their undisbursed IDA investment project balances following a crisis. Small states and countries with small undisbursed balances will be able to access up to $5 million.
The Immediate Response Mechanism (IRM) complements longer-term emergency response tools available to IDA countries, such as the Crisis Response Window, offering them financial support within weeks rather than months of an emergency. The inclusion of contingent emergency response components in selected existing and/or future investment projects will facilitate the rapid disbursement of funds.
In the case of crises, notably natural disasters and economic shocks, IDA would provide immediate financing in support of recovery efforts, such as the activation or scaling up of safety nets to mitigate the impact on vulnerable groups, repair or restoration of basic physical assets, protection of critical development spending such as on health and education, and creation of programs to jump-start economic activity. The IRM will also provide an additional platform for a dialogue with IDA clients on crisis planning and disaster risk mitigation.
Countries' participation in the IRM is voluntary. IDA Country Directors will seek early advice from partner governments about country interest in accessing funding through this new mechanism.