Omolola Ojo

Omolola Ojo

Kenya secures $200 million World Bank funding to curtail climatic change impacts and disasters

Kenya has secured World Bank’s approval for a $200 million funding, which will be used to curtail the impacts of climate and disaster risks in the East African nation.

“Extreme climatic events have long threatened development progress in Kenya, where 84 percent of the land is classified as arid or semi-arid, and where droughts and floods are estimated to cost the economy over 2 percent of GDP each year on average,” said World Bank’s Country Director Diarietou Gaye in a statement issued in Nairobi the capital.

This funding will see to the country’s support of important reforms. The funds will enable Kenya manage disaster’s that have impacted the economy and left it vulnerable, Gaya said.

In 2011, Kenya was faced with a serious drought as a result of climate change. Kenya boasts of wildlife that serves as a major tourist attraction and brings revenue to the country. Climate change puts this heritage at risk, and creates a threat to one of the country’s leading source for foreign income.

World Bank noted that the Disaster Risk Management Development Policy Financing with Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat DDO) will give Kenya rapid access to funding whenever there is a disaster or public health emergency.

“The Cat DDO will also support improvements in building the regulatory environment within Kenyan cities. With a growing concentration of population and assets in urban areas, the economic costs of natural hazards in Kenya are likely to increase in the future.

“Cat DDO will support the government’s proactive efforts to manage disaster and climate risks with a comprehensive program of reforms that will minimize the burden of economic recovery for Kenya,” said the World Bank.

The international lender is currently working with the treasury to help the Kenyan government tackle economic losses triggered by climate-related disasters. These disasters often hinder efforts to reduce poverty and threaten the numerous attempts made by the country to promote shared prosperity.

World Bank team leader Eric Dickson, in an attempt to highlight the significance of the programme, said, “The Cat DDO will support policy reforms that fortify institutional and planning frameworks to strengthen resilience to disaster risks in Kenya.”

Calling on Kenya to implement regulatory reforms, Dickson noted the need for the country to manage the risks associated with the concentration of poor and vulnerable people living in unsafe structures and often in informal settlements.

Kenya in May secured World Bank concessional loan of $1 billion that will aid energy, transport and water infrastructure projects in poorer regions of the East African country.

“These infrastructure investments are laying the ground for additional operations that will enable sustainable livelihoods with targeted support to farmers and pastoralists in the region and expanded support to the most vulnerable households through regular cash transfers,” said World Bank.