WASHINGTON D.C., October 1, 2018 - The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a US$2.5 million grant to support Samoa as it continues to reinforce the nation’s resilience to natural hazards, including earthquakes, tropical cyclones and tsunamis, and to enhance its ability to respond quickly to disasters.
This additional grant will extend the Pacific Resilience Program's support to the government of Samoa, providing funding for five more years of premium payments for disaster risk insurance under the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Finance Initiative (PCRAFI). The PCRAFI is a regional, market-based parametric catastrophe risk insurance pool that provides immediate funds in the event of a major natural disaster.
“The Samoan government is committed to boosting the financial resilience of our nation to natural hazards, including those exacerbated by climate change,” said Hon. Sili Epa Tuioti, Samoa Minister of Finance. “We are pleased to continue our partnership with the World Bank on resilience, which has already delivered significant improvements to road networks, ecosystems, community-managed infrastructure, and public awareness activities on the effects of climate change.”
Samoa is exposed to a variety of natural hazards, including floods, droughts, tropical cyclones, storm surges, earthquakes and tsunamis. September 2009’s earthquake and tsunami, and Tropical Cyclone Evan in December 2012 both caused significant damages and losses. Cyclone Evan alone destroyed over 600 homes, claimed 14 lives and displaced more than 7,500 people.
The Pacific Resilience Program was approved in June 2015 as a series of World Bank projects to strengthen Pacific Island countries’ resilience to natural disasters and climate change. A partnership between Tonga, Samoa, Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, the Pacific Community (SPC), the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) and the World Bank, the program uses a regional approach to disaster risk management to share expertise and increase economies of scale.
“Pacific Resilience Program investments are about supporting governments in the Pacific Islands, including Samoa, to ensure they are best prepared to respond to the effects of climate change and severe natural disasters,” said Michel Kerf, World Bank Country Director for Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. “This additional funding will ensure Samoa can continue its participation in the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Finance Initiative, which will deliver essential funds for recovery in the event of a major natural disaster.”
Supplemental funds for the Samoa component of the Pacific Resilience Program will be funded through a US$2.5 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the most in-need countries.