WASHINGTON, NOVEMBER 8, 2011 – The World Bank confirmed today that it has disbursed US$50 million to help El Salvador deal with the emergency caused by the tropical depression that battered the country last month displacing thousands of people from their homes and causing US$840 million in damages.
The US$50 million, which were disbursed immediately following the declaration of a State Emergency, are part of the Disaster Risk Management Policy Development Loan Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat DDO), approved by the World Bank’s Board of Directors on February 2nd, 2011, and ratified by El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly on April 10th, 2011. The amount represents an immediate source of liquidity for the Salvadoran Government and complements their efforts to cover the most urgent needs of thousands of victims and maintain the provision of public services.
Tropical Depression 12-E is one of the most damaging natural disasters to have hit El Salvador in decades, flooding 10 percent of the country and forcing more than 50,000 people out of their homes. According to Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes, preliminary estimates indicate that the total damages represent 4 points of GDP.
The Disaster Risk Management Development Policy Loan is one of the operations established in the World Bank’s 2010-2012 Country Partnership Strategy to help the country address its vulnerability to natural disasters. In addition, support to El Salvador’s Disaster Risk Management Program have been provided through other investment and technical assistance projects including:
- The US$80 million “Strengthening Local Government Project,” which seeks to improve the capacity of municipalities to expand public service provision and improve disaster risk management, and
- The “Seismic Risk Probabilistic Modeling Project for San Salvador’s Metropolitan Area” which aims to increase the country’s institutional capacity to assess seismic risks, as well as to design and implement measures to reduce vulnerability.
Public TV in El Salvador has been instrumental in keeping the population informed during the emergency. The Bank - through a grant provided by the Spanish Fund for Latin America and the Caribbean- is supporting the professionalization of public media in the country