World Bank mobilizes $500-M to rebuild typhoon-hit areas

Posted at 11/18/13 12:59 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The World Bank Group is mobilizing $500 million to assist rebuilding efforts in typhoon-hit Visayas.

In a statement released Monday, the World Bank said the release of a $500 million emergency loan is being finalized to support reconstruction efforts in areas affected by typhoon “Yolanda”.

The World Bank also said it is ready to implement a conditional cash transfer program to provide funds to affected families.

The funds can also be used to provide temporary shelters and short-term jobs.

“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.

Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank Vice President for East Asia Pacific, said a long-term reconstruction plan is needed given the devastation caused by the typhoon.

Members of a World Bank technical team were deployed to the Philippines to help the government assess the damage and gather information for a comprehensive 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 Trotsenburg.

The World Bank is also helping in giving information on disaster resistant design options for structures that can withstand 250-280 kilometer per hour wind speed and resist severe flooding.

The IFC, meanwhile, is working with its client banks and financial institutions in the typhoon-hit areas to ensure that risk share facilities and advisory services are extended to banks in the private sector.

“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 the IFC, the Bank Group’s private sector arm.