The Project aims to support the Government’s effort to meet critical needs in public health and education induced by COVID-19 through the mobilization of private-sector funding.
The proposed partial debt guarantee (PDG) will support, through the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)’s COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Facility (CRF), the Government of Oman’s efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 and restore critical education and health systems expenditures undertaken in accordance with the best practices, which are essential for the reopening and normalization of the economy in the post-pandemic era. AIIB will support the Project by providing the PDG to a sovereign term loan facility of up to USD500 million led by an international commercial bank.
AIIB’s Environmental and Social Policy (ESP), including the Environmental and Social Standards (ESSs) and the Environmental and Social Exclusion List (ESEL), is applicable to this Project. The Project is categorized as category B due to moderate environmental and social (ES) risks which are localized, reversible, temporary in nature and can be mitigated using standard procedures and precautionary measures as well as good international practice. Activities that require land acquisition with significant resettlement impact or that are likely to cause major environmental impact, if any, which may cause potential upgrading of Project’s ES categorization from Category B to category A, are not eligible for financing with AIIB guaranteed loan proceeds.
The due diligence is ongoing. It is expected that an Environmental and Social Management Planning Framework (ESMPF) will be used to mitigate Project’s ES risks and impacts. The ESMPF will include a template for site-specific Environmental and Social Management Plans (ESMP) for the proposed sub-activities. The potential environmental risks may include (i) improper disposal of used chemical reagents and other waste from hospital and medical laboratories; (ii) managing proper disposal of e-waste generated from replacing old computer monitors, old laptops and electronic components of the computer servers; and (iii) the capacity of the end-users to use the purchased medical equipment. The potential social risks under the Project may relate to the inability of marginalized and vulnerable social groups to access health and education facilities and services.
The project’s environmental and social risks and impacts will be assessed using ESMPF and good international practice. The application of the ESMPF will be further assessed during project due diligence in order to ensure that the prepared ESMPF will be in line with AIIB’s ESP. The ESMPF to be used by the Project, both in Arabic and English, will be disclosed on the Client and AIIB’s websites in a timely manner and hard copies will be made available in project areas. To ensure that the Project Implementing Unit (PIU) will be able to effectively implement the ESMPF to mitigate or minimize potential ES impacts, the ES due diligence will review the PIU’s existing environmental and social management system (ESMS) and their capacity to implement the ESMPF.
Project progress and performance will be monitored based on the project results indicators, which are defined in the Results Monitoring Framework. Nevertheless, the details need to be further discussed with the representatives of the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education on the institutional arrangement for monitoring and supervision for this project. Arrangements will be made for regular monitoring reports to be submitted to AIIB for review.
The ESMPF will explore existing functional grievance redress mechanisms (GRM) that may be used for contracted workers and/or Project-affected people to avoid duplication. If none are appropriate, a standalone grievance redress mechanism will be prepared for the Project, and its details as well as AIIB’s PPM will be disseminated, in Arabic and English, to the stakeholders concerned in a timely and appropriate manner.
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
Senior Investment Operations Specialist - Social Infrastructure
The Government of the Sultanate of Oman represented by the Ministry of Finance
Head of Debt Management Office, Ministry of Finance