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World Bank helping regional disaster preparedness and management

The Washington-based financial institution said through the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) – a World Bank-managed fund supported by 21 donor partners, the European Union, the World Bank and the United Nations – over 80 developing countries, including the Caribbean, were “better able to identify, prepare for, and recover from natural disasters” during fiscal year 2012-13.

The bank said that the facility’s annual report covering July 2012 to July 2013 “showcases its work toward a goal of helping over 1 billion people in 34 developing countries to better cope with and adapt to the effects of natural hazards and climate change.”

“Working with a number of partners, including governments, international and technical organizations, private sector and civil society, GFDRR achieved a number of tangible results during the fiscal year,” said the statement, adding that 10 Caribbean countries are “now able to share disaster risk data online as a result of GFDRR training.”

Through GFDRR, the World Bank said it “aims to mainstream disaster risk management and recovery into country development plans and polices through the operations of major multilateral organizations.”

Recently, the International Development Association (IDA) – the World Bank’s fund for the poorest – “committed to screening all country strategies and operations for climate and disaster risks,” the World Bank said.

In the past year, over 80 countries received GFDRR assistance in the form of financial or advisory support, the bank said.

While GFDRR’s grants are relatively small, the World Bank said “they often bring about major investments in disaster risk management projects and infrastructure by governments and international organizations.” 

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