The island nation has also signed an agreement for a loan of up to US $102 million in case of a natural disaster is declared an emergency
The World Bank has committed a US $90 million loan to Sri Lanka Climate Resilience Programme to increase its risk resilience. The programme is a four-year project that aims to address the issue of climate change by building resilience of vulnerable population to adapt and improve government capacity to disaster response.
With this funding, the WB wants the South-Asian country to increase climate risk resilience of infrastructure in three areas—flood and drought management, transport continuity and school protection.
Another US $13 million will be pumped in for nine river basins to develop flood and drought protection methods.
Addressing the media, Marc Forni, a World Bank senior disaster specialist, said that the programme intends to “look at how economic activity can be better protected” in the face of extreme weather events and climate threats.
The island nation has also signed an agreement for an emergency loan of up to US $102 million in case of a natural disaster is declared as a national emergency.
According to World Bank estimates, the floods in 2010-2011 caused a damage of a billion dollars in the country. Moreover, the country risks US $ 380 million a year in damages from natural disasters. Parts of the country are presently facing a drought which has resulted in 40 per cent crop losses in the affected areas.
Ivan de Silva, secretary to the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Management, said that as extreme weather events increase in frequency and intensity, “we want to come up with some strategies and on how to minimise the effect of these disasters.”
De Silva further mentioned that it was not wise to wait for a disaster to happen and then manage the aftermath. He emphasised on the “need to plan ahead, two or three years ahead, maybe even 10 years ahead”. He added that we need to rehabilitate and bring it to a certain level as a medium term investment or a solution. “The launching of the Climate Resilience Program is timely,” the official added.
S M Mohamed, secretary of Ministry of Disaster Management, spoke about the need for policies to enable Sri Lanka to adapt to changing climate patterns and saw the programme playing an important role in addressing climate resilience by focusing on these areas.
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