WB may set aside Rs 3,650 crore to rebuild Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram: The World Bank is looking to extend support of up to $500 million (Rs 3,650 crore) to the State Government’s comprehensive flood recovery efforts and build greater resilience to future shocks. 

The support is subject to the Centre’s formal request and approval by the World Bank Board of governors.

As an immediate step, the Bank is ready to reallocate up to $55 million (`365 crore) from within its current portfolio of projects in the country to support the state’s reconstruction investments.

Under the proposed recovery and resilience framework, the World Bank will help the State Government finance and build resilient institutions, systems, and infrastructure to help achieve the state government’s vision to build back better.

Following the floods and on Union Finance Ministry’s request, a Joint Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (JRDNA) was conducted in September 2018 jointly by the State Government, the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank. The assessment has estimated the recovery needs at Rs 25,000 crore for priority sectors alone. The sectors that suffered the worst damage and need the largest recovery budgets are transport, rural infrastructure, livelihoods including tourism, housing and urban infrastructure. 

The proposed recovery and resilience framework will follow a phased approach. First phase will attempt to address early recovery needs and setting the stage for a resilient recovery by helping the state raise funds from domestic and international sources.

The second phase aims to improve the overall resilience of the state to future shocks over the medium to long-term - primarily through policy and institution strengthening. These engagements will cover sectors such as water resources, transport, social protection, environment and disaster risk management. 

“The framework we have prepared in consultation with the State Government will help the state with early recovery needs, restoring the infrastructure and livelihoods. A very important part of our engagement will be to support the work of state institutions and build on the state-community relationships that exist in Kerala”, said Mr Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director.

The World Bank is also ready to provide technical assistance and advisory services to help the State Government leverage funds for resilient recovery through instruments such as Diaspora bonds. 

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