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World Bank approves USD500M to help Philippines cope with disasters

ANN/THE STAR – The World Bank has sanctioned a USD500 million credit line for Philippines’ to manage disasters and climate-related challenges.

The funding is specifically designated for safeguarding schools, health facilities, and human settlements. The credit facility is intended to be readily accessible for the government during natural disasters or health emergencies. Approximately 60 per cent of the country’s total land area and at least 74 per cent of Filipinos are vulnerable to multiple hazards like typhoons and landslides, the bank said. It noted that about 78 per cent of public schools and 96 per cent of students in the Philippines are exposed and vulnerable to hazards.

“The real benefit of this support is its ability to rapidly deliver crucial services, such as healthcare, shelter, and food, to those most impacted by disasters or climate events,” said World Bank Country Director Ndiame Diop for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.

“It’s about making sure the people who have the least are taken care of and can bounce back immediately after these disaster events,” said Diop.

The World Risk Index 2022 put the Philippines at the top spot for the most disaster-prone country. The country is frequently battered by powerful typhoons triggering flash floods and landslides, and rocked by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

The bank said natural disasters have killed around 33,000 Filipinos in the past 30 years.

Volunteers attend to people affected by an earthquake that struck General Santos City, southern Philippines. PHOTO: AP