The DPL with Cat DDO is available for three years, and can be renewed for up to 15 years. With it, Seychelles is better prepared to respond quickly to natural disasters, which frequently occur in the region. Because of its location, topography and landscape, Seychelles is often impacted by cyclones, flooding and mudslides. The most recent event occurred in January 2013 when Tropical Cyclone Felleng hit the country. While no deaths were reported, the cyclone caused $8.4 million in damages (equivalent to 0.77% of the 2012 country’s GDP) and losses in key sectors, such as transport and tourism.
For countries to be eligible for the loan, they must already have a functioning hazard risk management program in place. The DPL with Cat DDO, therefore, goes beyond financing. It includes post-disaster recovery to further support the strengthening of the legal framework for disaster risk management and the integration of disaster risk reduction into development planning and decision-making. In Seychelles, the government has spent the last two decades ramping up its efforts to improve resilience from disasters.
“The government has shown its commitment to strengthening disaster risk management, which is illustrated by recently approving a Disaster Risk Management Act, a disaster risk management policy and by establishing a risk information database,” said Doekle Wielinga, the WBG’s task team leader for the DPL with Cat DDO.
The DPL with Cat DDO also complements other WBG support for private sector development, social protection and fisheries development. Such support includes the Southwest Indian Ocean Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative, financed by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery through the European Union (EU) - funded Africa Caribbean Pacific - EU Natural Disaster Risk Reduction Program. The aim of this program is to improve the understanding of disaster risks and risk financing solutions of five Indian Ocean island states. There is also support from a third WBG-financed Seychelles Sustainability and Development Competitiveness Loan, which supports reforms through improving the business climate, enhancing fiscal transparency and increasing fiscal oversight and controls over public enterprises.
“By efficiently responding to disasters and strengthening its disaster risk management plan, we hope there will be significant improvements in the lives of Seychelles’ most vulnerable citizens,” said Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez, the Bank’s senior director for the social, urban, rural and resilience global practice. “The DPL with Cat DDO adds yet another vital component to the country’s risk reduction policies.”