MANILA - The World Bank is set to bolster the Philippines' efforts in climate disaster preparedness and response with a newly approved USD500 million credit line. This financial support is designed to provide rapid assistance to the country in the wake of major natural disasters or health crises.
According to Philippines News Agency, The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors approved the Philippines Disaster Risk Management and Climate Development Policy Loan with a Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option. This arrangement allows the Philippine government to access funds quickly following a state of calamity declaration by the President in response to natural disasters or public health emergencies. The funds will be available for three years, with a revolving feature allowing for renewal up to four times, extending the potential support period to a maximum of 15 years. Ndiame Diop, World Bank country director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand, highlighted the importance of this support in delivering essential services like healthcare and shelter to those most affected by disasters. The World Bank notes that a significant portion of the Filipino population is vulnerable to various natural disasters, which often result in infrastructure damage and educational and health service disruptions. Lesley Cordero, senior disaster risk management specialist at the World Bank, emphasized that the reforms supported by this financial instrument are crucial in making schools, communities, and health facilities disaster-resilient. This support aims to ensure uninterrupted services during disasters, particularly for vulnerable populations.