World Bank enhances support to Cyclone affected areas to restore livelihoods and infrastructure

October 3, 2010

Dhaka, October 03, 2010 - The World Bank on September 25, 2010 approved US$75 million to support Bangladesh  to sustain its efforts to recover from the damage to livelihoods and infrastructure caused by Cyclone Sidr and Cyclone Aila and to build resilience towards natural disasters.

The US$ 75 million credit is an additional financing for the ongoing Emergency 2007 Cyclone Recovery & Restoration Project (ECRRP). The World Bank provided US$109 million emergency support with a grant of US$2.96 million in the aftermath of cyclone Sidr.  Cyclone Aila created further havoc that necessitated additional financing to address the needs of cyclone-affected populations.   The additional financing will focus on restoration of the areas most affected by Cyclone Sidr, and would target additional upazilas damaged by Cyclone Aila.

“Bangladesh is extremely vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters. In the recent years, natural disasters such as cyclones, floods and tidal surges are recurring with more severity. The cost of damages ($6b) from only 4 disasters in 2000-2009 was equivalent to the cost of 93 disasters in the ‘90s” said Ellen Goldstein, Country Director, World Bank Bangladesh. “The World Bank felt it necessary to increase its financing in order to ensure a faster and more complete recovery of cyclone affected areas, and most importantly, prepare them for future disasters.”

Cyclone Sidr hit Bangladesh on November 15, 2007.  About 9 million people in 30 districts were affected, leaving around 3,000 dead and more than 55,000 people injured. The cyclone’s total damage was estimated to be US$1.2 billion. In 2009, additional losses from Cyclone Aila created an even higher demand for support, totaling US$1.7 billion between the two cyclones.

The additional financing will ensure continuation of the restoration public infrastructure damaged by the cyclones and the development of more resilient agricultural practices in the salinity and cyclone prone southern coastal areas. The additional financing would be used to rehabilitate additional 80 km of coastal embankments, 100 multipurpose shelters and construct 60 new shelters. The project is working to build long-term preparedness through strengthened disaster risk reduction and management.” A part of the additional funding will be used to build a long-term preparedness through strengthened disaster risk management.

The credit from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessionary arm, has 40 years to maturity with a 10-year grace period; it carries a service charge of 0.75 percent.

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