World Bank Approves $100 Million Loan To Odisha For Boosting Disaster Response

New Delhi: The World Bank on Wednesday approved a $100 million loan to help Odisha strengthen its early forecasting systems for improved response to disasters and enhance its social protection coverage for poor and vulnerable households through digital platforms.

The multilateral agency reportedly said in a statement that Odisha is vulnerable to natural disasters with cyclones hitting the state every 15 months on an average.

“The Odisha State Capability and Resilient Growth Programme will help reduce losses caused by natural disasters through a multi-hazard digital warning system and strengthen the state’s data collection efforts for better resilience planning, it said.

The program will also increase social protection coverage through a cash transfer program, with coastal and underserved communities receiving assistance through online delivery platforms (Mo-Sewa Kendras), the World Bank said.

the World Bank’s Country Director for India, Auguste Tano Kouame reportedly said that the programme will help the Government of Odisha scale up existing social protection systems to better protect vulnerable households from climate shocks.

“The proposed engagement complements reform priorities identified by the Government of Odisha while building on the extensive program of technical assistance provided by World Bank to the state over the past decade,” Kouame further said.

The new Program will support the state’s efforts to enhance digital social service delivery systems.

“The $100 million loan from the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) uses the Program-for-Results (PforR) financing instrument that links disbursement of funds directly to the achievement of specific program results. The Program has a maturity of 12.5 years with a grace period of three years,” the official release noted.

It may be noted that the coastal state of Odisha is vulnerable to natural disasters with cyclones hitting the state every year. The state’s 480 km coastline is also exposed to tsunami risk. Recurrent disasters significantly impact economic activities including agricultural production, infrastructure and access to health, education, and employment.

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