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World Bank provides 500 mln USD for Philippine disaster victims

(Xinhua)

14:50, December 31, 2011

MANILA, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- The World Bank offered the immediate release of 500 million U.S. dollars to assist the Philippine government's recovery and reconstruction efforts in the wake of tropical storm Washi, the Manila Office of the World Bank announced Friday.

An estimated 720,900 individuals have been affected by the storm, locally known as Sendong, which devastated parts of the country in mid-December, with 4,620 injured and the death toll reaching almost 1,260 persons. The country's National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has estimated the damage to infrastructure, agriculture and school buildings at over 1.3 billion pesos (29.6 million U.S. dollars).

World Bank Acting Country Director Chiyo Kanda expressed sympathies to the Filipino people at this very difficult time.

The funds come from the Disaster Risk Management Development Policy Loan with Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat-DDO), approved by the World Bank's Board of Directors in September 2011. The Cat-DDO is a line of credit for the Government of the Philippines to enhance its capacity to manage the impacts of natural disasters.

The release followed President Benigno S. Aquino's declaration of a State of National Calamity during his visit to areas affected by the storm and a request from the Philippine Government to access the World Bank.

Philippine Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima expressed appreciation for the quick response of the World Bank and the flexibility of the facility. "The Cat-DDO is a quick and flexible source of financing for a country like the Philippines which is vulnerable to natural calamities," Purisima said.

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