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Kerala News
Kerala to get USD 25 million aid from World Bank
 
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Government would get a world bank aid of 25 million USD to its ''Rebuild Kerala'' initiative, an official statement said here on Friday. A loan agreement in this regard was signed between the World Bank, the Kerala and the Central Governments in Delhi on Friday for the Resilient Kerala Program to enhance the state''s resilience against the impacts of natural disasters and climate change, the statement further said. The 2018 floods and landslides in Kerala led to severe impact on property, infrastructure, and lives and livelihoods of people.

One sixth of the state's population- about 5.4 million people - were affected while 1.4 million were displaced from their homes, especially the poor and vulnerable segments of the population. The Resilient Kerala Program would focus on strengthening the state''s institutional and financial capacity to protect the assets and livelihoods of poor and vulnerable groups through an inclusive and participatory approach. "The new program is part of the Government of India''s support to Kerala''s ''Rebuild Kerala Development Programme aimed at building a green and resilient Kerala. This partnership will identify key areas of policy and institutional strengthening to maximise development impact, Additional Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, Sameer Kumar Khare said.

The loan agreement was signed by Sameer Kumar Khare on behalf of the Government of India; Additional Chief Secretary Finance, Manoj Joshi, on behalf of the Government of Kerala; and Country Director, World Bank India Junaid Ahmad. The World Bank has been working closely with the Government of India and Kerala since the floods struck in August 2018 in assessing the impact of the floods and assisting in recovery and reconstruction. The Bank support also helped to identify policies, institutions and systems for resilience to disaster risks and climate change, the statement further said. The program, which represents the first ''state partnership'' of the World Bank in India, is the first of two Development Policy Operations aiming to mainstream disaster and climate resilience into critical infrastructure and services.

''''In response to the unexpected floods a year back, the Kerala government has invested in institutions and programs to build a resilient Kerala. Its aim is to protect the lives and livelihoods of its citizens in a world of climatic uncertainty'''', Country Director, World Bank, India Junaid Ahmad said. ''''The Bank is supporting Kerala through a mechanism of state partnership in priority areas such as transport, livelihood, and urban planning," he added. It aims to support the state with improved river basin planning and water infrastructure operations management, water supply and sanitation services resilient and sustainable agriculture, enhanced agriculture risk insurance improved resilience of the core road network unified and more up-to-date land records in high risk areas risk-based urban planning and strengthened expenditure planning by urban local bodies strengthened fiscal and public financial management capacity of the state.

''''The Bank support through this program will not only bring about additional financial resources but also help leverage other development partners and connect the state to lessons from global good practices,"World Bank India Task Team Leader for the program Balakrishna Menon said. The World Bank has been supporting the state through engagements such as the Second Kerala State Transport Project, Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project, National Hydrology Project, National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project Phase 2, Kerala Local Government and Service Delivery Project, Kerala Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project and the Kerala Local Government Service Delivery Project, the statement added.


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