Sri Lanka Takes Progressive Steps to Reduce Socio-Economic Impacts of Disasters

September 25, 2014

Colombo, September 26, 2014 — The Ministry of Disaster Management together with the World Bank launches a Climate Resilient Program today. The program is launched at the three day Disaster Management Conference at the BMICH in Colombo titled “the Future we want – a Safer Sri Lanka”.

Since the catastrophic Tsunami, Sri Lanka has achieved a significant progress strengthening preparedness to safeguard lives. There is a lot more to do to reduce the economic and social impacts of disasters. Given Sri Lanka’s development trajectory and increasing incidents of natural events it is commendable that the Government of Sri Lanka is embarking on a fairly large program with essential investments in the disaster management sector.

“Today we are embarking on a long term engagement to analyze the root causes of disasters and will finance a wide range of measures to increase resilience to these adverse events” said Francoise Clottes, World Bank Country Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives summing up the Climate Resilience Program in Sri Lanka. “The World Bank is pleased to be a part of this program and support the Government to be better prepared to face external shocks that would impact on efforts to reduce poverty and promote shared prosperity in Sri Lanka” she further stated commending progressive steps taken in this sector.

This landmark program looks at the climate risk in a holistic way and helps the government to implement short, medium and long term measures to address the physical and fiscal aspects of disaster risk. The program consists of the Climate Resilience Improvement Project for US$ 110 million and a Development Policy Loan with a Catastrophe Deferred Draw Down Option (CATDDO) for US$ 102 million.

CATDDO is a new instrument which provides immediate liquidity to the government after a disaster and Sri Lanka is the first country in South Asia Region to use this facility. In addition to the two projects a significant amount of technical assistance is expected with the support of the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) in the areas of risk modeling and disaster risk financing and insurance. 

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