KINGSTON, July 2(JIS) – The Government has received $3.79 billion (US$30 million) from the World Bank to further boost disaster and climate risk management in Jamaica.
The loan will support the administration’s ongoing programme to reduce the incidence of environmental hazards over a six-year period under the Bank’s Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (DVRP).
The DVRP, which will be implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), comprises four components. These target – technical assistance for improved disaster and climate resilience; risk reduction; contingent emergency response; and project administration.
Specific focus will be placed on: disaster response and recovery; creating safer environments for schools; and disaster risk financing and insurance.
Finance and Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, and World Bank Country Manager for Jamaica, Galina Sotirova, signed a loan agreement at the Ministry’s offices in Kingston, on Friday, July 1.
In welcoming the provision, Mr. Shaw said the Government was appreciative of partnership maintained by the World Bank in disaster vulnerability management and risk reduction, a key focus area of the Vision 2030 Jamaica National Development Plan.
He further said the administration looked forward to other “collaborative efforts” that would also support the Plan.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Sotirova said the DVRP represented a major component of the Bank’s country partnership strategy that targets the creation of an enabling environment for inclusive growth.
She noted that disaster risk mitigation was important in maintaining macroeconomic stability and debt management in order to achieve sustainable growth and development.
In this regard, Mrs. Sotirova said DVRP would provide Jamaica with a comprehensive framework for disaster and climate risk management.
“The DVRP will help to enhance Jamaica’s resilience to disaster and climate risk by improving the capacity of government agencies to generate and use hazard and risk information to make the national infrastructure more resilient,” she outlined.
This, Mrs. Sotirova further explained, would be achieved through activities such as the training of building professionals in applying the national building code and developing systems to improve the collation of climate risk data and its use in decision making.
Managing Director of JSIF, Omar Sweeney, said the agency was ready to administer the DVRP, pointing out that “I think we have the opportunity to do something great to improve the country’s resilience.”