World Bank Supports Brazil's Disaster Prevention Efforts
Brasilia, 18 JANUARY 2011 - The Vice-president of the World Bank for Poverty Reduction and Economic Management, Otaviano Canuto, and the World Bank Director for Brazil, Makhtar Diop, today met with President Dilma Rousseff, Minister Antonio Palocci, Minister Miriam Belchior, the Finance Ministry's Executive Director, Nelson Barbosa, and representatives from the Rio de Janeiro State Government to discuss the international organization's support for disaster prevention and management policies in Brazil and in the State.
During the meeting, the World Bank Director announced that a US$485 million no-counterparty loan is in the final stages of approval for housing and disaster prevention in Rio de Janeiro State - in order to support the Morar Seguro (Safe Residence) program.
"We expect the first tranche of the loan, worth US$290 million, to be approved in the next few weeks," said Makhtar Diop. "Meanwhile, we have reassigned US$20 million from a loan earmarked for the Rural Rio Project to the State's emergency efforts and we've freed resources from another loan approved recently for Rio de Janeiro, Pro-Management, worth US$18.7 million, for the government's immediate needs." According to Diop, another technical assistance loan is being prepared, worth US$30 million, to help improve the State's institutional capacity to plan and respond to this type of event.
During the meeting with the President, it was established that the World Bank will also be working with the National Integration Ministry to help states undertake a deep assessment of their institutional policies, capacities and deficiencies with regards to disaster management, develop an investment plan and a series of measures for the most vulnerable states, prior to the next rainy season. At the same time, the US$97 million loan for the Interáguas federal program, already being negotiated with the Bank, will be restructured and expanded to focus on disaster management.
Makhtar Diop added that the World Bank's new partnership strategy with Brazil, which should be approved in July, will have natural disaster mitigation and preparedness as one of its central themes. "The fight against extreme climatic events, such as those occurring in many Brazilian cities and around the world, is an extremely complex issue that tests government capacities. With the increasing frequency of catastrophes linked to climate change, it is necessary to strengthen the link between infrastructure and poverty reduction, climate change and sustainable development."
Brasilia: Mauro Azeredo (+55 61) 9994-4389, email@example.com
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