World Bank to provide $500M for Yolanda relief ops

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Another funding for rehabilitation of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) destruction to add to this list.

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The World Bank said on Monday that they would provide the government with a total of $500-million emergency loans for recovering and rebuilding of Visayas in wake of the destructions by Yolanda.

“In the aftermath of the typhoon, we have seen courageous efforts by the people of the Philippines to get back on their feet. We are committed to supporting the government in its effort to recover and rebuild, and to help Filipinos strengthen their resilience against increasingly frequent extreme weather events,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.

Prior to the announcement, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan told reporters at the Philippine Economic Society 51st Annual Meeting that the Philippines will receive yet another $500-million loan from World Bank, following another multilateral’s—Asian Development Bank—more than $500-million loan to the country for rehabilitation of destruction in Visayas.

The World Bank Group said that they are “ready to provide additional support,” even touching the administration’s Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program that would further provide not only for displaced families and children in Visayas, but also to other poor families nationwide.

The multilateral also said that the $500-million fund can be used for establishment of temporary shelters, debris cleaning and short term jobs to families in the area.

Other than the $500 million, the international lender said that they will work closely with the government in assessing total damages in Visayas, as well as construct a well-thought and comprehensive reconstruction plan within next month and providing technical assistance to build establishments resilient to 250-280 kilometer per hour wind speed and excessive flooding.

“Given the scale of this disaster, the country will need a long-term reconstruction plan. We can bring lessons learned from our work in reconstruction after disasters hit Aceh, Haiti, and other areas that might be helpful in the Philippines. Remote sensing images are being obtained for use by the assessment team in geo-mapping activities to help determine the cost of the destruction,” said World Bank Vice President for East Asia Pacific Axel van Trotsenburg.

“In the midst of this terrible tragedy, the Government is determined to build more resilience into homes, buildings and roads to reduce risks in the future, which is critical in a country that is subject to an increasing number of severe weather events,” said Motoo Konishi, World Bank Philippines director.

In line with the rehabilitation efforts, the World Bank is coordinating with international development community and government agencies which include the NEDA, Department of Finance, Office of Civil Defense, Department of Social Welfare and Development and Department of Science and Technology.

Meanwhile, World Bank private sector arm International Finance Corporation (IFC) tapped banks and other financial institutions to help extend services to private sector, which can encourage and help businesses—micro, small, medium or large enterprises—rebuild and recover their businesses in the area.

“IFC is in discussions with international banks, rural banks, and microfinance institutions to develop specific programs to help the private sector recover from the devastation,” said Jesse Ang, resident representative of IFC.

Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) hit the country on November 8, creating massive destruction in several islands in Visayas and Palawan in central Philippines, killing over 3,000 people as of writing and destroying homes and other establishments in the area.

Kristyn Nika M. Lazo

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