The World Bank (WB) said on November 18 that it will provide the Philippines with an emergency loan of 500 million USD to help the country develop a reconstruction plan for areas badly hit by super typhoon Haiyan.

The WB said the emergency loan is being given following the request made by the Philippine Government and the bank is also ready to provide additional support, including through a conditional cash transfer programme that provides funds to poor families.

According to WB President Jim Yong Kim, the bank is committed to supporting the Philippine Government in its efforts to rebuild the country and help locals stabilise their lives and strengthen their resilience against increasingly frequent extreme weather events.

Members of a technical team from the WB are now arriving in the Philippines to help the Government assess the damage and gather information for a comprehensive reconstruction plan.

After this disaster, the country will need a long-term reconstruction plan, said Axel van Trotsenburg, WB Vice President for East Asia and Pacific region, adding that the bank can bring lessons learnt from reconstruction work after disasters hit Aceh, Haiti, and other areas that might be helpful in the Southeast Asian nation.

The Washington-based bank said it will provide technical assistance on disaster resistant design options for housing, health facilities, schools, and public markets that can withstand 250-280 kilometre per hour wind speeds, and resist severe flooding.

The bank added that it is working closely with the international development community in the Philippines and with Government agencies including the Departments of Finance, Science and Technology, Social Welfare and Development, the Office of Civil Defence and the National Economic and Development Authority.-VNA