The World Bank Board says it has approved a US$30 million loan to help enhance Jamaica’s resilience to disaster and climate risk through the promotion of climate and disaster risk management.
The Washington-based financial institution notes that Jamaica is one of the most at risk countries in the world, with high percentages of gross domestic product (GDP) and population at risk to two or more natural hazards.
It said damages and losses from hydro-meteorological disasters and earthquakes were estimated at over three billion US dollars between 1988 and 2013.
In addition according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the impact of sea level rise and intensified storm surges in Latin America and the Caribbean will be highest in Jamaica.
“The government is actively working to reduce the country’s vulnerability to disaster and climate risk through a number of initiatives. This project aims to improve the capacity of government agencies to generate and use hazard and risk information to shape local and national development; and make infrastructure more resilient,” said World Bank Country Manager for Jamaica, Galina Sotirova.
The World Bank said among concrete results to be achieved by the Jamaica Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project are the establishment of a National Risk Information Platform and Coastal Risk Atlas and strengthened seismic monitoring network established; several multi-hazard risk assessments for coastal areas and about 450 government officials and constructors trained on the National Building Code and constructions practices.
“The Jamaica Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project is financed under a loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) in the sum of US$30 million will mature in 30 years after a grace period of seven years,” the World Bank said.