August 30, 2017 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara
The World Bank Group Country manager, Parminder Brar has yesterday told a presser that the Bank has provided 13 million United States dollar as part of its immediate response to the flood and mudslide disaster that killed hundreds of people in Freetown and left thousands homeless.
The World Bank chief was addressing newsmen yesterday at the head office on Howe Street about the financial response from the Bank.
He said earlier this month the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development approached the Bank for financial support for dealing with the crisis as well as a request for undertaking an immediate disaster and loss assessment that would inform the recovery process.
He disclosed that the Bank has deployed a Specialist Disaster Management Team in Freetown to work with the government, United Nations Agencies and local organisations in a coordinated way to assess the immediate needs in short and medium term.
He noted that they have tracked the growth of Freetown from 1974 to 2017 using a satellite maps.
He said the Bank was doing a multi city hazardous assessment for three cities-Freetown, Makeni and Bo and that the study would be completed in November this year and it would be presented to the presidency.
“The Bank is concern. We are preparing two reports- one is the immediate Disaster and Loss Assessment and the second one the longer term multi city hazardous assessment. Two World Bank Disaster Management Specialists are leading the team. Around twenty other World Bank sector specialists are working on this assignment along with experts of other agencies. The team will conclude its work on September 8, 2017 and present its recommendations to the government,” he said.
He noted that the initial report that the Bank has offered $500 million to support disaster in the country was not true.
“On the side of the World Bank, we have offered $13 million as part of the immediate response to disaster. And some people say it was reported that the World Bank offered $500 million for disaster, not that, it is not the case,” he said.
He stated that an additional $3 million would be provided from existing projects which would meet immediate needs as well as be used for rebuilding critical infrastructure.
He said $10m of the said fund was part of the budget support as many has provided support but in the form of supply and very little money went to the government for relocation purposes.
“For the World Bank Group as a whole-IBRD,IDA,IFC and MIGA, the over all funding available for Sierra Leone will be in excess of US$500 million in the next three years. This includes grant, loans, and guarantees,” the Bank chief said.