World Bank proposes US$230 million for emergency situations in DR

The World Bank announces the approval of a Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat-DDO) to support the Dominican Republic’s disaster risk management efforts. The loan requires congressional approval.

The program seeks to improve the government’s capacity to strengthen disaster preparedness, response and recovery, benefiting especially the most vulnerable in the Dominican Republic. Cat-DDO can be quickly disbursed to respond to a natural disaster or health-related event.

As an island, the Dominican Republic is subject to hurricanes, flooding and earthquakes and health hazards, such as was Covid-19 and is the cholera-outbreak in Haiti. The Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with the poorest country in the Americas, Haiti.

“The government of the Dominican Republic has called for major reforms to improve disaster risk management and climate change adaptation, with an emphasis on improving preparedness and planning with timely information, as well as on limiting the fiscal and economic impact of disasters on the most vulnerable households,” announced Finance Minister José Manuel Vicente.

The funds will be used to implement the first fiscal strategy for disaster risk management, strengthening of land use regulations to guarantee better planning, safer housing and construction, improved geospatial information (essential for risk assessment) and increased adoption of emergency mitigation and social protection measures.

The World Bank points out that the Dominican Republic is ranked 32 out of 181 countries on the Bundnis Entwicklung Hilft Global Risk Index 2021. This high exposure to disaster risk can result in significant economic impacts. The occurrence of extreme weather events underscores the need for urgent measures to strengthen the country’s resilience and adaptation in an inclusive manner.

“Disasters have the greatest impact on the poorest population, particularly women and girls. With this operation, we are supporting government efforts to maximize disaster risk management and reduce inequality in the long term, protecting the livelihoods of the Dominican people in the event of a natural disaster and promoting inclusive sustainable growth,” said Alexandria Valerio, World Bank resident representative in the Dominican Republic.

The government will have immediate access to this second Cat-DDO in the event of a natural disaster or health-related emergency. The World Bank approved the first CAT-DDO for the Dominican Republic in 2018, which provided immediate liquidity in 2020 to support mitigation and recovery efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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World Bank

5 December 2022