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PRESS RELEASEMarch 8, 2024

World Bank to Improve Resilient Infrastructure and Services in Costa Rica

WASHINGTON, DC, March 8, 2024 — The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors approved today a new project to enhance disaster and climate-resilient infrastructure and services in Costa Rica. By financing the reconstruction of gray and green infrastructure damaged in recent disasters and strengthening the country’s disaster risk management capacity, the project aims to benefit 2 million people – almost 40% of the country’s population.

Recent disasters, such as Hurricane Eta (2020), extreme rainfall in July 2021, and Tropical Storm Bonnie (2022), caused severe damages of public facilities, water resources management, transport sectors and others, in 37 of 82 cantons in Costa Rica.

The US$350 million Climate Resilient Recovery and Territorial Development Project helps to address these damages by assisting reconstruction efforts and providing resilient infrastructure to people living in highly vulnerable regions. It will invest in critical infrastructure for flood control and slope stabilization and the reconstruction of bridges and roads. Additionally, it will build and equip multi-purpose emergency shelters and disaster response facilities. The project also finances investments to enhance early warning systems and services at the local level in several vulnerable river basins.

"Costa Rica is making progress to guarantee the resilience of public investments and the safeguarding of human life. However, it remains highly exposed to extreme weather events and natural hazards, which increases the impact of these risks. This project is aligned with the country's climate change mitigation and adaptation strategy and will support our priority of investing in resilient infrastructure and services to protect people living in the most vulnerable areas," said Nogui Acosta Jaén, Minister of Finance of Costa Rica.

The project will be implemented by the National Commission for Risk Prevention and Emergency Response (CNE). It has a strong inclusion component by benefitting people living in cantons with preexisting infrastructure needs which are also hosting disproportionally large refugee and migrant populations compared to other regions in the country. As women are disproportionately affected by disasters and the uprooting of support services, the project also has a strong gender component, by, for example, considering women’s and girls’ physical safety and need in the design of the shelters.

“This project complements existing disaster risk management cooperation between Costa Rica and the World Bank and is part of a broader country and regional response strategy on human mobility and community resilience in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR),” said Carine Clert, World Bank Country Manager for Costa Rica and El Salvador. “The project will finance capacity building to ensure the sustainability of its investments and will include mechanisms for citizen engagement and multi-stakeholder participation in prioritizing reconstruction and infrastructure works.”

The project will be financed by a US$350 million loan from the World Bank and US$20 million in concessional financing from the Global Concessional Financing Facility (GCFF), a multilateral partnership designed to support the financing needs of middle-income countries hosting large numbers of refugees. Costa Rica became an eligible recipient country of the GCFF in December 2022. The concessional financing was made possible thanks to a contribution from the United States of America.

More information about World Bank's work in Costa Rica.

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In San José:
Cynthia Flores Mora
(506) 7298-9160
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