World Bank releases $496-M loan for Philippines to assist 'Ompong' recovery
A resident cleans up pieces from a tree that was toppled by strong winds from Typhoon Mangkhut as it barreled across Tuguegarao City in Cagayan province, northeastern Philippines on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018. The typhoon slammed into the Philippines northeastern coast early Saturday, it's ferocious winds and blinding rain ripping off tin roof sheets and knocking out power, and plowed through the agricultural region at the start of the onslaught.
AP/Aaron Favila

World Bank releases $496-M loan for Philippines to assist 'Ompong' recovery

(Philstar.com) - September 26, 2018 - 3:06pm

MANILA, Philippines — The World Bank on Tuesday announced the release of $496.25 million loan for the Philippines to hasten recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction in areas battered by Typhoon Ompong (international name: Mangkhut) last month.

Arriving with powerful wind and torrential rain in mid-September, "Ompong" triggered landslides that killed dozens. The monster storm also caused heavy damage on an airport terminal, knocked out power and communication lines and blew off roofs.

The Finance department earlier said it is planning to tap a standby credit line from the World Bank, which can be immediately accessed 48 hours after the president’s declaration of state of calamity.  

In a statement, the Washington-based lender said the funds it released for the Philippine government were accessed from the “second disaster risk management development policy loan with a Catastrophe-Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat-DDO 2).”

The loan gives the government immediate access to funds after a major natural disaster, a time when available funds are often not adequate to meet the needs for reconstruction and recovery.

“Natural disasters can exacerbate poverty through loss of lives, livelihood, property and infrastructure, and can roll back years of development gains,” said Mara Warwick, World Bank country director for Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.

“They disproportionately disrupt the lives of poor and vulnerable people, particularly women, the elderly and children. We want them to know the Bank supports the country’s efforts to address their needs,” Warwick added.

The Cat-DDO is one of many forms of assistance available from the World Bank Group to help countries plan responses to natural disasters.

Based on latest government data, the damage of "Ompong" to agriculture was pegged at P26.8 billion. The powerful storm also caused an estimated P33.7 billion worth of damage to infrastructure.

A total of 713,004 families were hit by "Ompong," which left 68 people dead and two missing. — Ian Nicolas Cigaral

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