The World Bank on Friday said it has approved a loan of 500 million U.S. dollars to help the Philippines better handle disasters and climate threats, with a particular focus on protecting schools, health facilities, and human settlements, APA reports citing Xinhua.
The multilateral lender said the line of credit was set aside so that the government could quickly draw upon it when major natural disasters or health crises hit.
Approximately 60 percent of the country's total land area and at least 74 percent of Filipinos are vulnerable to multiple hazards like typhoons and landslides, the bank said, noting that about 78 percent of public schools and 96 percent of students in the Philippines are exposed and vulnerable to hazards.
"The real benefit of this support is its ability to rapidly deliver crucial services, such as healthcare, shelter, and food, to those most impacted by disasters or climate events," said Ndiamé Diop, World Bank country director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand.
"It's about making sure the people who have the least are taken care of and can bounce back immediately after these disaster events," said Diop.
The World Risk Index 2022 put the Philippines at the top spot for the most disaster-prone country in the world. The archipelago country is frequently battered by powerful typhoons which triggered flash floods and landslides, and rocked by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
The bank said natural disasters have killed around 33,000 Filipinos in the past 30 years, affecting about 120 million people.