WASHINGTON, July 24, 2018 — The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved €50 million ($60.48 million equivalent) for the Romania Strengthening Disaster Risk Management Project. This loan will support enhanced resilience of critical disaster and emergency response facilities and strengthen institutional capacities for investment planning for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. This investment project will complement ongoing policy efforts to strengthen the country’s response to natural disasters targeted through the Romania CAT-DDO.
“Many disaster and emergency response buildings in Romania are currently vulnerable to severe damage and potentially collapse should an earthquake strike,” said Tatiana Proskuryakova, World Bank Country Manager for Romania and Hungary. “The country’s ability to save lives and protect the welfare of its people after a disaster is contingent upon effective coordination and deployment of first responders from facilities that are themselves fully functional after disasters. The World Bank is very pleased to partner with Romania to ensure that investments in critical buildings and infrastructure make the country more resilient to disasters and climate change.”
The new Romania Strengthening Disaster Risk Management Project will support investments to ensure that critical fire and rescue stations and emergency response coordination buildings will be fully functional after all types of disasters. It will also support increased knowledge and communications on disaster and climate risks, and investment planning to reduce these risks over the long term. The loan will closely complement the objectives of Romania CAT-DDO that aims to improve the national framework for disaster risk management and response, and enhance Romanians’ understanding of and response to disasters.
Romania faces one of the highest risks of earthquakes among European Union countries, with thousands of lives lost and tens of thousands of buildings damaged in earthquakes over the last 200 years. More than 75 percent of the population, including 65 percent of the urban population, is in areas with high earthquake hazard. Moreover, 45 percent of all critical transport, energy, water and communication services, as well as 70–80 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) are in seismic zones. The effects of climate change have also substantially increased in recent decades, bringing more frequent landslides, wildfires, drought, floods and extreme weather events. In 2006, for example, extreme floods caused economic damage equivalent to 1% of GDP.
The World Bank opened its office in Romania in 1991. Since then, the Bank has provided over $13.6 billion in loans, guarantees and grants in all sectors of the Romanian economy. The Bank’s current portfolio includes investment lending, analytical work, and technical assistance to support Romania’s reform priorities. In 2016, the World Bank Group and Romania celebrated 25 years of continued partnership in supporting poverty reduction and inclusive growth.
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