Brasilia, 18 JANUARY2011 – The Vice-president of the World Bank for PovertyReduction and Economic Management, Otaviano Canuto, and the World Bank Director for Brazil, Makhtar Diop, today met with President Dilma Rousseff,Minister Antonio Palocci, Minister Miriam Belchior, the Finance Ministry’sExecutive Director, Nelson Barbosa, and representatives from the Rio de JaneiroState Government to discuss the international organization’s support for disasterprevention and management policies in Brazil and in the State.
During the meeting, theWorld Bank Director announced that a US$485 million no-counterparty loan is in thefinal stages of approval for housing and disaster prevention in Rio de JaneiroState – in order to support the Morar Seguro (Safe Residence) program.
“Weexpect the first tranche of the loan, worth US$290 million, to be approved inthe next few weeks,” said Makhtar Diop. “Meanwhile, we havereassigned US$20 million from a loan earmarked for the Rural Rio Project to theState’s emergency efforts and we’ve freed resources from another loan approvedrecently for Rio de Janeiro, Pro-Management, worth US$18.7 million, for the government’simmediate needs.” According to Diop, another technical assistance loanis being prepared, worth US$30 million, to help improve the State’sinstitutional capacity to plan and respond to this type of event.
During the meeting withthe President, it was established that the World Bank will also be working withthe National Integration Ministry to help states undertake a deep assessment oftheir institutional policies, capacities and deficiencies with regards todisaster management, develop an investment plan and a series of measures forthe most vulnerable states, prior to the next rainy season. At the same time,the US$97 million loan for the Interáguas federal program, already beingnegotiated with the Bank, will be restructured and expanded to focus ondisaster management.
MakhtarDiop added that the World Bank’s new partnership strategy with Brazil, whichshould be approved in July, will have natural disaster mitigation andpreparedness as one of its central themes. “The fight against extremeclimatic events, such as those occurring in many Brazilian cities and aroundthe world, is an extremely complex issue that tests government capacities. Withthe increasing frequency of catastrophes linked to climate change, it isnecessary to strengthen the link between infrastructure and poverty reduction,climate change and sustainable development.”