St. Lucia: World Bank approves additional US$ 3 million for disaster management

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The World Bank approved today an additional US$3 million to further reduce St. Lucia’s vulnerability to adverse natural disasters by supporting disaster preparedness and mitigation planning.

“These additional resources will continue helping St. Lucia protect the most vulnerable households and the poor by enhancing the country’s preparedness and response to natural disasters like floods and hurricanes,” said Yvonne Tsikata, the World Bank's Director for the Caribbean.

The Second St. Lucia Disaster Management Project is reducing Saint Lucia’s vulnerability to adverse natural events, such as hurricanes, flooding, and others, by strengthening the country’s infrastructure and improving emergency preparedness and response. The project is enhancing the country’s capacity in the following areas:

* Physical infrastructure: by financing physical mitigation measures, including coastal protection for Dennery Village, rehabilitation and construction of bridges, and the retrofitting of schools and health centers which will serve local communities in emergencies.

* Emergency preparedness and response: through equipment purchase, investment in emergency infrastructure, and supporting technical assistance and training for the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO).

* Vulnerability assessments, territorial planning, and building code training: by financing technical assistance in territorial planning and enforcement, commission vulnerability assessments and hazard mapping, as well as building code training and sensitization.

Since its approval in 2004, the Second St. Lucia Disaster Management Project has been implemented satisfactorily by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Economic Planning, Investment and National Development.

The project was built on the success of the first Adaptable Program Loan Project in St. Lucia, approved in 1998 through the Emergency Recovery and Disaster Management Program (EDRMP). The EDRMP program financed physical and institutional efforts to reduce disaster vulnerability and improve emergency preparedness and management in five member countries of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States: St. Lucia, Dominica, St. Kitts & Nevis, Grenada, and St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

The additional US$3 million zero-interest credit from the International Development Association (IDA) for the Second St. Lucia Disaster Management Project will scale up activities undertaken under Physical Prevention and Mitigation Works and will allocate some funds to Project Management. The zero-interest credit is repayable in 35 years, including a ten year period of grace.

The Government of Saint Lucia is also contributing US$960,000 as counterpart funds.

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