ADB approves $500-M emergency loan for Yolanda-hit areas

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Friday, December 6, 2013

MANILA -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved on Friday a $500-million emergency loan to help the Philippine government cover immediate costs associated with rebuilding areas affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

“A disaster of this magnitude can push families further into poverty. The speed of assistance is critical to ensure that loss of shelter, assets or livelihoods is only temporary, and quickly resolved with skills programs, income generating activities, and high-quality rehabilitation and reconstruction,” said ADB President Takehiko Nakao.

Relief efforts are expected to continue well into 2014, posing a budget challenge for the Philippines, which had been struck by 23 typhoons by the end of October, as well as a 7.2 magnitude earthquake on the island of Bohol.

ADB, working closely with the Department of Finance, designed this emergency support at record speed, to help the people affected by Typhoon Yolanda, Nakao said.

ADB’s funding will ensure the Philippine government is able to provide support in five priority areas, including shelter and reconstruction; power restoration; livelihoods and employment; resettlement and psychosocial care; and environmental protection.

ADB earlier disbursed a $3-million grant from the Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund for the typhoon-hit areas.

Another $20 million grant from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction will be made available by mid-December, the Manila-based multilateral agency said.

These, together with the $500 million, will support the government’s efforts in the immediate recovery phase, it added.

“As the government moves into rehabilitation and reconstruction phases, we stand ready to offer substantive additional support to implement the Yolanda Recovery and Rehabilitation Plan. To immediately supplement the first phase of support, we are designing a community driven development project that will help rebuild communities and assist reconstruction in the affected areas,” said Stephen Groff, ADB vice president responsible for East Asia, Southeast Asia and Pacific countries.

ADB has established a Typhoon Yolanda Response Team, and it plans to set up an extended mission in one of the affected areas to support implementation of ADB’s assistance. Two technical assistance projects will help implement and monitor the reconstruction plan. (SDR/Sunnex)

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