Friday, December 30, 2011

News Update World Bank releases $651m for Philippine flood

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The World Bank said late Thursday it released US$500 million (S$651 million) to help the Philippine government's recovery and reconstruction efforts after Tropical Storm Washi tore through the country, killing more than 1,200 and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless.

'In natural disasters, it is the poor, including many women and children, who are particularly vulnerable,' said World Bank Acting Country Director Chiyo Kanda.

'We hope the funds will give the Philippine government flexibility to help families and communities recover, reconstruct vital infrastructure, and restore basic social services, as well as enhance the country's preparedness for natural disasters in the future,' she said.

Tropical Storm Washi brought heavy rains, overflowing rivers and flash floods to the southern Philippines from Dec 16 to 18, sweeping away whole villages built on sandbars and riverbanks.