World Bank plans more funding for Yolanda-hit areas

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 14 2014 06:06 PM | Updated as of Jul 15 2014 02:06 AM

MANILA, Philippines - World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim on Monday visited communities affected by super typhoon "Yolanda" (Haiyan) in Leyte.

Kim announced the World Bank Group is preparing more funding for the Yolanda-hit areas soon.

He said the World Bank Group will submit the Philippine Rural Development Project to its board of directors next month.

The proposed project includes more than $62 million, which will help raise rural incomes of farmers and fishermen, as well as repair 230 kilometers of farm-to-market roads damaged by Yolanda in the central Visayas.

"I am here to reaffirm the World Bank Group’s support for the courageous Filipinos who are rebuilding from the ruins of Typhoon Haiyan... While much more can be done and needs to be done, I am encouraged to see the government, civil society, private sector, and local communities rebuilding access roads, irrigation facilities, shelters and schools for those affected by the disaster in Palo and Tanauan in Leyte," Kim said.

The $62 million is part of a $508.25 million project designed to raise rural incomes and boost productivity for farmers and fishermen nationwide.

The World Bank already had announced nearly $1 billion in financial assistance in the immediate aftermath of Yolanda, which flatted parts of central Visayas last November.

Kim expressed sympathy to the people who lost loved ones in the disaster, but said he was glad to see the communities were making progress in recovering.

"The poor are disproportionately affected by disasters and are the least able to cope. If we don't build resilience to climate change and natural disasters, we won't end poverty... The World Bank Group is working closely with the government and others to help communities improve their defense against those threats," he said.

The Philippines is the third-most vulnerable country in the world to extreme weather-related events, earthquakes, sea-level rise, and storm surges.

Kim is on a two-day visit to the Philippines. He is expected to meet with officials from the Philippine government, civil society organizations, private sector and youth organizations.