Local December 3, 2022 | 1:10 pm

The World Bank Supports the Dominican Republic in its Efforts to Improve Disaster Risk Response

WASHINGTON, December 2, 2022 – The World Bank Board of Directors today approved a US$ 230 million Development Policy Loan with a Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat-DDO) to support the Dominican Republic’s disaster risk management efforts. Cat-DDO can be quickly disbursed to respond to a natural disaster or health-related event. The program seeks to improve the government’s capacity to strengthen disaster preparedness, response, and recovery, benefiting the Dominican population, especially the most vulnerable segments.

“The Government of the Dominican Republic has called for major reforms to improve disaster risk management and climate change adaptation, with an emphasis on improving preparedness and planning with timely information, as well as on limiting the fiscal and economic impact of disasters on the most vulnerable households. This new World Bank Cat DDO loan, following the one that closed last year, reveals the urgency of these reforms. We thank the World Bank for renewing its support of this crucial agenda for the country,” said Finance Minister José Manuel Vicente.

These reforms include the implementation of the first fiscal strategy for disaster risk management, strengthening of land use regulations to guarantee better planning, safer housing and construction, improved geospatial information (essential for risk assessment), and increased adoption of emergency mitigation and social protection measures. This package of reforms helps better prepare the country to manage the risks of adverse events that threaten its economic stability and the safety and well-being of its population.

The Dominican Republic ranked 32 out of 181 countries on the Bündnis Entwicklung Hilft Global Risk Index 2021. This high exposure to disaster risk can result in significant economic impacts. The occurrence of extreme weather events underscores the need for urgent measures to strengthen the country’s resilience and adaptation in an inclusive manner.

“Disasters have the greatest impact on the poorest population, particularly women and girls. With this operation, we are supporting government efforts to maximize disaster risk management and reduce inequality in the long term, protecting the livelihoods of the Dominican people in the event of a natural disaster and promoting inclusive sustainable growth,” said Alexandria Valerio, World Bank Resident Representative in the Dominican Republic.

The government will have immediate access to this second Cat-DDO in the event of a natural disaster or health-related emergency. The World Bank approved the first CAT-DDO for the Dominican Republic in 2018, which provided immediate liquidity in 2020 to support mitigation and recovery efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Paul Tierney
December 4, 2022 9:52 am

More loans equal more debt. The RD has a pension fund it can dip into if there is an emergency.