Nearshore Americas

Caribbean Countries Will be Allowed to Use World Bank Loans for Disaster Relief

In a significant relief for Caribbean countries, the World Bank Group will allow for more flexibility to redirect funds for emergency response in case natural catastrophes hit them.

“The reform will give low-income countries the breathing room they need to focus on recovery and rebuilding,” the international lender said in a press release.

The new measures, announced at the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact in Paris, allow Caribbean countries to obtain insurance against natural catastrophes using the bank’s solutions such as CAT Bonds.

Caribbean governments will now be able to integrate disaster insurance into the loan agreements they’ve signed with the World Bank.

Furthermore, countries in the region can postpone debt payments in order to focus their resources on catastrophe recovery and reconstruction activities.

The Caribbean is very vulnerable to natural calamities, particularly hurricanes. Hurricane Maria wreaked such broad devastation in 2017 that it took some countries more than a year to rebuild their economies.

The World Bank’s new toolkit will help these countries to better prepare for and respond to future disasters, reducing the potential economic and social impacts.

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“We work to make people better prepared for threats of any kind by sharing our expertise, building resilience, and insuring against risks,” the international lender said.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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