23 Jun 2015

World Bank approves grants for countries to cope with natural disasters

10:20 am on 23 June 2015

The World Bank has approved a series of credits and grants to the order of $32 million US dollars to help Pacific nations cope with natural disasters.

The Pacific Resilience Program will initially provide assistance to Samoa, Tonga, Marshall Islands and Vanuatu, as well as the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

The funds will strengthen early warning and preparedness, retrofit key public assets to meet international resilience standards, create a framework for smarter investment in resilience activities, and improve financial resilience by enabling access to an immediate injection of cash for post-disaster recovery.

Damage by Cyclone Pam in remote parts of Vanuatu.

Damage by Cyclone Pam in remote parts of Vanuatu. Photo: RNZ / Shaun O'Callaghan

The program will also help to train local institutions, civil society groups, village communities, and volunteers in disaster-risk management and climate resilience.

The Pacific Resilience Program will be funded through the International Development Association, the World Bank's fund for the world's poorest countries.