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World Bank Group supporting Philippines Typhoon reconstruction with $500 million financial package

November 18, 2013

Bank disaster assessment teams to help develop reconstruction plan

MANILA, November 18, 2013 - The World Bank Group is mobilizing US$500 million in financing and deploying global disaster experts to support the Philippines’ efforts to recover and rebuild from the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).

“In the aftermath of the typhoon, we have seen courageous efforts by the people of the Philippines to get back on their feet,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.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.”

In response to a government request, an emergency loan of US$500 million is being finalized to support reconstruction. The World Bank Group is ready to provide additional support, including through a conditional cash transfer program that provides funds to poor families. Resources could also be directed to providing temporary shelters and to help with debris clean up, providing short-term jobs to poor families.

The Bank Group is working closely and coordinating with the international development community in the Philippines, and with lead government agencies and departments—including the Department of Finance, Office of Civil Defense, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Public Works and Highways and the National Economic and Development Authority.

Members of a technical team from the Bank are now arriving in the Philippines to help the government assess the damage and gather information for a comprehensive reconstruction plan.

“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,” said Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank Vice President for East Asia Pacific. Remote sensing images are being obtained for use by the assessment team in geo-mapping activities to help determine the cost of the destruction.”

The Bank is also providing technical assistance on disaster resistant design options for housing, health facilities, schools, and public markets that can withstand 250-280 kilometer per hour wind speed, and resist severe flooding.

“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 Mr. Motoo Konishi, World Bank Philippines Country Director.

In addition, the IFC is working with its client banks and financial institutions in the typhoon affected areas to ensure risk share facilities and advisory services are extended to private sector banks in order to help small and medium enterprises recover.

“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. 

Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines on November 8, creating massive destruction in several islands in Visayas and Palawan in central Philippines, killing thousands of people and destroying homes and infrastructure along its path.