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World Bank to extend $500m loan to Philippines

Updated: 2013-11-18 18:53
( Xinhua)

MANILA - The World Bank said on Monday it is extending an emergency loan of $500 million to help the Philippine government develop a reconstruction plan for areas badly hit by typhoon "Haiyan," locally named "Yolanda."

The World Bank said the emergency loan is being given following the request made by the Philippine government. The bank said it is also ready to provide additional support, including through a conditional cash transfer program that provides funds to poor families.

"We are committed to supporting the government in its effort to recover and rebuild and to help Filipinos strengthen their resilience against increasingly frequent extreme weather events," World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said.

Members of a technical team from the World Bank are now arriving in the Philippines to help the government assess the damage and gather information for a comprehensive reconstruction plan.

"Given the scale of this disaster, the country will need a long- term reconstruction plan. We can bring lessons learned from our work in reconstruction after disasters hit Aceh, Haiti, and other areas that might be helpful in the Philippines," said Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank vice president for East Asia and Pacific region.

The Washington-based lending institution said it will provide technical assistance on disaster resistant design options for housing, health facilities, schools, and public markets that can withstand 250-280 kilometer per hour wind speed, and resist severe flooding.

The World Bank said it is working closely and coordinating with the international development community in the Philippines and with lead government agencies including the Departments of Finance, Science and Technology, Social Welfare and Development, Office of Civil Defense and the National Economic and Development Authority.