|Description||1.The GEF World Bank Investment Fund (IF) is the investment arm of the GEF Strategic Partnership on the Black Sea/Danube Basin which also funds two regional projects, one in Black Sea littoral countries and one in the Danube Basin, focusing on capacity building activities. The Fund constitutes a proposed envelope of US$70 million, to be approved by the GEF Council in several tranches, to grant-finance investment projects in the Black Sea/Danube Basin that aim at nutrient reduction. In May 2001, the GEF Council approved the first tranche of the Investment Fund, US$20 million. Eligible sectors for investment under the Fund include advanced municipal and industrial wastewater treatment, agricultural nutrient pollution control and wetland restoration. The Investment Fund provides a focused regional framework for country level investments aimed at a common goal of combating eutrophication in the Black Sea and allows for a streamlined approached to project processing by the GEF.
2.This progress report on the Investment Fund accompanies the application to the May 2002 GEF Council for a second tranche in the amount of US$ 25 million. Following the instructions in paragraph 20 of the Investment Fund Paper submitted to the GEF Council in 2001, the report describes the project pipeline and the stage of development of each project proposal, discusses progress to date on program leveraging targets, and addresses cooperation and coordination of the Fund with the regional projects under the Partnership and other key partners. The report also presents information on knowledge sharing activities, a website and the Distance Learning Program for the Black Sea/Danube Basin initiated under the Investment Fund.|