The World Bank has approved a $75-million loan for Bangladesh to support its efforts to repair the damage left behind by two cyclones in its southern region, the bank said on Sunday.
Cyclone Sidr hit the area in November 2007, leaving some 3,000 people dead and 55,000 injured. An estimated 9 million people have been affected and the total cost of the damage has been put at $1.2 billion.
A second cyclone, Aila, hit the region in 2009 causing a further $400 million worth of damage.
The global lender had provided $109 million of emergency support including a grant of $2.96 million in the aftermath of cyclone Sidr.
“The World Bank felt it necessary to increase its financing to ensure a faster and more complete recovery of cyclone-affected areas, and most importantly, prepare them for future disasters,” the bank’s country director for Bangladesh Ellen Goldstein said in a press statement.
Bangladesh was extremely vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters, she added, referring to recent natural disasters such as cyclones and floods in the southern part of the country. The new loan was aimed at supporting efforts to restore infrastructure and the development of more resilient agricultural practices in the salinity and cyclone-prone southern coastal areas.
It would also be used to fund the rehabilitation of 80 kilometres of coastal embankments and 100 multipurpose cyclone shelters and the construction of 60 more.