World Bank Board approves USD15 million grant to support recovery from Tropical Cyclone Evan and build resilience to future shocks
WASHINGTON, July 12, 2012 ----- The World Bank today approved a US$15 million grant to the Government of Samoa to promote economic recovery in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Evan by providing funding to Samoa’s recovery framework, which focuses on reconstruction and building resilience, and includes support for the poorest and most hard-hit.
Cyclone Evan hit the remote Pacific Island nation of Samoa in December 2012, killing fourteen people, destroying over 600 homes, and temporarily displacing some 7,500 people. A government assessment estimated that total economic damages and production losses from the cyclone are likely to top US$200 million, or almost one third of Samoa’s annual economic output.
“The economic impact from natural disasters can set a country back many years,” said Franz Drees-Gross, World Bank Country Director for Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and the Pacific Islands. “The Government of Samoa has developed a sound framework to accelerate reconstruction and recovery and the World Bank is pleased to support their efforts to meet the immediate needs of those affected by tropical cyclone Evan and to be more prepared for dealing with disasters in the future”.
This grant will contribute to the reconstruction of homes using improved building regulations to make 020them more resilient to future natural disasters, and will strengthen the economy by delivering funds for assisting those affected by the cyclone. In addition, it will strengthen public financial management to promote increased transparency around the use of public funds at a time of heightened fiscal pressures.
“We welcome the support from the World Bank to our long-term reconstruction program as we focus on rebuilding and moving on from the impact that Cyclone Evan had on our people and our economy,” said Samoan Finance Minister the Hon. Faumuina Tiatia Faaolatane Liuga. “These funds will protect the country's most vulnerable people and help facilitate economic growth."
Natural disasters take a major toll on Pacific Island countries. World Bank research has estimated the average annual cost to small island states from natural disasters is equivalent to almost 2% of GDP.
This grant is delivered through a Development Policy Operation and is part of a wider package of support to Samoa that is designed to accelerate economic recovery, improve disaster resilience, and strengthen public financial management. It is funded through the World Bank’s Crisis Response Window and the International Development Association (IDA).
For more information about the World Bank in the Pacific, please visit www.worldbank.org/pi