JG - World Bank to assist with 'Dean' recovery
World Bank to assist with 'Dean' recovery
published: Saturday December 22, 2007
The World Bank's board of directors on Wednesday approved a US$10 million (about $720 million) emergency loan to support the Government of Jamaica in implementing its Sustainable Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Plan (SRRP) for recovery from the Hurricane Dean disaster, and to strengthen its ability to respond to future adverse natural events.
"The Government of Jamaica requested our support to rehabilitate basic services, which are crucial for a full re-establishment of normal living conditions. We are speedily responding to the Government's needs," said Yvonne Tsikata, country director for the Caribbean.
Basic community infrastructure
The Jamaica Hurricane Dean Emergency Recovery Project aims to restore access to basic community infrastructure - specifically elementary schools, health centres and critical feeder roads for selected communities.
"The bank processed this loan under the new operations policy for emergency loan. This project is only the second loan to be approved in the Latin America and Caribbean region under this new policy," said Abhas K. Jha, World Bank senior infrastructure specialist and task team leader of the project. "The bank took less than six weeks to prepare and negotiate the project and responded to the Government of Jamaica's request to get board approval within this calendar year."
Caribbean states are highly vulnerable to natural disasters - on average, one major hurricane affects a country in the region every two years - and they have only limited options available to respond.
Jamaica suffered extensive damage due to the passage of Hurricane Dean on August 19.
The loan is repayable in 17 years, including a five-year grace period.