WB approves additional funding for disaster recovery in Laos

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VIENTIANE, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) — The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors Last Friday approved 50 million U.S. dollars of additional financing in Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Management Project in Laos and the Lao Road Sector Project II.

The additional funding will help reduce the financing gap for reconstruction following widespread floods in 2018, prioritizing investments in flood risk management and the road sector, local daily Lao News Agency (KPL) reported on Tuesday.

One half of the financing will support the ongoing Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Management Project in Laos to reduce the impact of flooding in target areas and enhance the government’s capacity to provide hydro-meteorological services and disaster response.

The other half of the financing will support the ongoing Lao Road Sector Project II to repair damaged roads and improve the climate resilience of road infrastructure.

“In 2018, Laos suffered its most costly floods in a decade, which had a significant adverse impact on people’s lives and the economy of Laos,” said Nicola Pontara, World Bank Country Manager of Laos.

The Post-Disaster Needs Assessment estimated total damages of 371.5 million U.S. dollars, equivalent to 2.1 percent of the country’s projected 2018 GDP, and 10.2 percent of Laos’ annual budget in 2018.

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