On the heels of an overall successful year for Water and Energy for Food, we have released our 2021 Annual Report. While the impacts of COVID-19, natural disasters, and the effects of climate change challenged the innovators and RIHs, WE4F is proud to report that the program, the MENA and S/SEA RIHs, and their supported innovators are making significant progress.
So far, the 39 innovators have helped more than 55,0000 smallholder farmers and other end-users produce more than 250,000 tons of food while saving more than 8 million kWH of energy. Of the end-users supported by WE4F, more than 17,000 end-users had increased incomes in the MENA region.
By using WE4F’s water- and energy-efficient innovations, renewable energy, and climate-resilient practices, farmers and food companies can enhance their climate resilience, reduce CO2 emissions, and support the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. 47% of innovators contribute toward climate adaptation and 50% offer climate mitigation innovations.
And, to ensure that their innovations do not have a negative environmental impact, 93% of all MENA innovators monitor water and/or biodiversity (76% of MENA innovators monitor water impact and 33% monitor biodiversity activities). In S/SEA, 63% of all innovators monitor water and/or biodiversity (45% of S/SE Asia innovators monitor water impact and 21% monitor biodiversity activities).
To support innovators’ growth and improvement of operations, the RIHs provided 38 instances of technical assistance (gender integration, business development, BoP impact support, sales and marketing, market research/analysis), and also provided investment facilitation as well as legal, policy, and regulatory support. This is well ahead of the expected 22 TA support instances listed in the RIH targets, and it helped innovators expand their sales to $1.89 million. Both on their own and with the help of the RIH investment facilitation teams, innovators mobilized nearly $7 million from external sources – $4 million within climate financing – in 2021. This is on track with the combined MENA and S/SEA RIH target of $7.8 million.
Overall, 55% of WE4F innovators are expected to be on time to meet their Year 1 targets based on results reported in 2021. In addition, 31% are slightly delayed in achieving their targets but may still reach them. At this time, WE4F expects that 14% of innovators will not meet their Year 1 targets. This is better than WE4F expected given the natural risk associated in private sector investments, where 90% of investments fail and don’t achieve their targets. The 14% failure rate is well below the Securing Water for Food target for failure (40%).