THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, October 16, 2018 – The World Bank is looking to extend support of up to $500 million to the Government of Kerala’s comprehensive flood recovery efforts and to build greater resilience to future shocks. The support is subject to Government of India’s formal request and will have to be approved by the World Bank Board of Governors.
As an immediate step, the Bank is ready to reallocate up to $55 million from within its current portfolio of projects in India to support the state’s reconstruction investments.
Under the proposed recovery and resilience framework, the World Bank will help the Government of Kerala finance and build resilient institutions, systems, and infrastructure to help achieve the state government’s vision to build back better.
The state of Kerala suffered severe floods and landslides during June-August 2018 affecting up to 5.4 million people, one-sixth of the state’s population. Extreme and intense rainfall between August 1 to 19, 2018 (164 percent above normal) exacerbated the prevailing situation.
In the aftermath of this calamity, and following a request by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, a Joint Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (JRDNA) was conducted in September 2018 jointly by the Government of Kerala (GoK), the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The assessment has estimated the recovery needs at INR 25,000 crores or $3.56 billion for the priority sectors alone. The sectors that suffered the worst damage and need the largest recovery budgets are transport, rural infrastructure, livelihoods including tourism, housing and urban infrastructure.
The proposed recovery and resilience framework will follow a phased approach. First phase will attempt to address early recovery needs and setting the stage for a resilient recovery by helping the state raise funds from domestic and international sources. The second phase of the framework aims to improve the overall resilience of the state to future shocks over the medium to long-term - primarily through policy and institution strengthening. These engagements will cover a range of affected sectors such as water resources, transport, social protection, environment, disaster risk management, etc.
“Disasters, like the one we witnessed in Kerala, can roll back decades of development and are a fundamental threat to economic development and the fight against poverty. The World Bank stands committed to support Chief Minister Vijayan’s vision of converting this tragedy – one of the biggest that the state has seen - into an opportunity to build a more resilient Kerala for its people, said Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director in India.
The people of Kerala, their communities, are its biggest strength. Over the past months they have resolutely brought relief to the affected families and continue to contribute in the reconstruction efforts. Through targeted programs the resilient recovery framework will aim to support such communities through technical assistance, people centered early warning systems, and investments in social protection such as enhanced safety nets.
“The framework we have prepared in consultation with the Government of Kerala will help the state with early recovery needs restoring the infrastructure and livelihoods. A very important part of our engagement will be to support the work of state institutions and build on the state-community relationships that exist in Kerala.” Ahmad added.
To support GoK’s aim of establishing a funding envelope to rebuild Kerala, the World Bank is also ready to provide technical assistance and advisory services to help GoK leverage funds for resilient recovery through instruments such as diaspora bonds.
The World Bank’s lending portfolio consists of 104 operations with $27.5 billion in commitments, of which $17.8 billion is IBRD, $9.7 billion is IDA, and $0.1 billion is from other sources, primarily the Global Environment Fund.