World Bank Supports Kenya’s Efforts to Reduce Climate and Disaster Risk

The World Bank approved a Sh. 20 billion (USD.200 million) International Development Association (IDA) credit to assist Kenya in managing the impact of climate and disaster risks.

The Disaster Risk Management Development Policy Financing with Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat DDO) will provide Kenya with rapid access to funding in the event of a disaster or public health emergency, while supporting key reforms that strengthen the country’s ability to manage the impact of disasters on the economy and the vulnerable.

In a press release on Monday, World Bank Country Director for Kenya, Diarietou Gaye said they were working closely with the National Treasury to support the country to address the economic losses triggered by climate-related disasters that often hamper poverty reduction efforts and threaten the numerous advances that the country has made in promoting shared prosperity.

Extreme climatic events have long threatened development progress in Kenya, where 84 percent of the land is classified as arid or semi-arid, and where droughts and floods are estimated to cost the economy over 2 percent of GDP each year on average, Gaye said.

The project, he explained will support the government’s proactive efforts to manage disaster and climate risks with a comprehensive program of reforms that will minimize the burden of economic recovery for the country.

The Cat DDO , he added will also support improvements in building the regulatory environment within Kenyan cities, noting that with a growing concentration of population and assets in urban areas, the economic costs of natural hazards in Kenya are likely to increase in the future.

Eric Dickson, World Bank Task Team Leader said that there is need to implement regulatory reforms to manage the risks associated with the concentration of poor and vulnerable people living in unsafe structures and often in informal settlements.

The Cat DDO will support policy reforms that fortify institutional and planning frameworks to strengthen resilience to disaster risks in Kenya, Dickson said.

These efforts , he said will also support the implementation of the National Disaster Risk Financing Strategy, the first of its kind in Kenya, and in Africa, which seeks to proactively mitigate disaster’s long-term economic impacts and ultimately to defend the welfare and improve the resilience of Kenyans.

The project will be implemented by the National Treasury and Ministry of Planning.

The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, and helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve people’s lives.

IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about USD.18 billion over the last three years, with about 54 percent going to Africa.

Source: Kenya News Agency