Sierra Leone receives US$10 Million from World Bank
Sierra Leone receives US$10 Million Supplemental Financing from World Bank as support to Landslide and Flooding
FREETOWN, December 13, 2017 — The World Bank Group has approved a Supplemental Financing (SF) in the amount of US$10 million to help the Government of Sierra Leone meet immediate needs associated with the landslide and flooding disaster that struck Freetown on August 14, 2017. The SF is a grant, provided as a supplemental budget support operation that will flow directly into the Government’s budget. The funding, under the First Productivity and Transparency Support Credit (PTSC-I), will ensure that the reforms supported under this operation remain on track and are implemented without the risk of delays due to competing capacity or budgetary priorities arising from the post-disaster recovery. It will also help with the rebuilding of critical infrastructure destroyed during the landslide and flooding.
Since the end of the Ebola epidemic, the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) has initiated substantive reforms to boost productivity, restore fiscal stability, and gradually rebuild buffers. The Government initiated substantive reforms, focusing on agriculture, fisheries and energy, supported by the First Productivity and Transparency Support Credit (PTSC-I), to boost productivity and start rebuilding the country’s buffers. Unfortunately, a landslide of a rare magnitude hit the country’s capital city, leading to significant loss of lives, productive assets and public infrastructure. According to the Office of National Security (ONS), 1,141 persons were reported dead or missing. The flooding in the other areas killed 15 people with some 2,000 households affected.
The disaster adversely impacted economic activity and livelihood in several communities, increasing basic fiscal expenditures which have created an unanticipated financing gap. The landslide also caused significant infrastructure damages in the Western Area. Major destructions included houses and real-estate, public infrastructure, including roads, bridges, electricity equipment, water and sanitation facilities, health facilities, and schools. A total of 900 buildings were affected.
The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED), on August 15th 2017, approached the World Bank requesting financial support for dealing with this crisis as well as undertaking an immediate Disaster and Loss Assessment that would inform the recovery effort. In response, the Bank deployed a specialist Disaster Management Team in Freetown to work with the Government, United Nations Agencies and other international and local organizations in a coordinated way to assess the immediate needs in the short to medium term. Two World Bank Disaster Management Specialists led the team, and around twenty other Bank sector specialists worked on this assignment along with experts of other agencies. The team concluded its work and presented its findings and recommendations to the Government on September 8, 2017.
“This funding is very crucial in helping the Government meet immediate needs, as well be used for rebuilding critical infrastructure destroyed by the landslide and flooding,” said Parminder Brar, World Bank Country Manager for Sierra Leone. “The Bank will continue to engage with the Government on priority areas for deployment. These areas could include environment protection, urban planning and improved land management.”
The overall financing needs for the recovery was estimated at US$82.2 million or about 2.2 percent of GDP, including US$15.7 million short term recovery needs. The US$10 million SF will support the GoSL in its post-landslide relief and recovery.
The Bank Group, with funding from the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, is also supporting the country to strengthen its capacity for disaster management. An on-going Community-based Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Project supports the Government to strengthen its policies and programs on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) through mainstreaming activities related to the country’s climate resilience and disaster risk mitigation priorities.
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