New Delhi: The Government of India, the Government of Kerala and the World Bank signed here today a Loan Agreement of USD 250 million for the First Resilient Kerala Program to enhance the State’s resilience against the impacts of natural disasters and climate change.
The 2018 floods and landslides in Kerala led to severe impact on property, infrastructure, and lives and livelihoods of people. One sixth of the State’s population – about 5.4 million people – were affected while 1.4 million were displaced from their homes, especially the poor and vulnerable segments of the population.
The Resilient Kerala Program will focus on strengthening the State’s institutional and financial capacity to protect the assets and livelihoods of poor and vulnerable groups through an inclusive and participatory approach.
Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India said that the New Program is part of the Government of India’s support to Kerala’s ‘Rebuild Kerala Development Programme’ aimed at building a green and resilient Kerala. He said that this partnership will identify key areas of policy and institutional strengthening to maximize development impact.
The Loan Agreement was signed by Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare on behalf of the Government of India, and Mr. Junaid Kamal Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank India.
The World Bank has been working closely with the Government of India and Kerala since the floods struck in August 2018 in assessing the impact of the floods and assisting in recovery and reconstruction. The Bank support also helped identify policies, institutions and systems for resilience to disaster risks and climate change.
The Program, which represents the First ‘State Partnership’ of the World Bank in India, is the First of two Development Policy Operations aiming to mainstream disaster and climate resilience into critical infrastructure and services.
Mr. Junaid Kamal Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank India said that .State partnership is a key pillar of the Bank’s new Country Partnership Framework for India. Through such partnerships, the Bank will support select States striving to bring about systemic improvements in the way development initiatives are planned and executed. He further said that in Kerala, we will work across cross-cutting themes and priority sectors to build systems of resilience. We are committed to supporting the State Government in bringing about a perceptible change in the lives and livelihoods of its citizens.
The Program aims to support the State with:
· improved river basin planning and water infrastructure operations management, water supply and sanitation services
· resilient and sustainable agriculture, enhanced agriculture risk insurance
· improved resilience of the core road network
· unified and more up-to-date land records in high risk areas
· risk-based urban planning and strengthened expenditure planning by urban local bodies
· strengthened fiscal and public financial management capacity of the state
Mr. Balakrishna Menon, World Bank India Task Team Leader of the program said that the Bank support through this program will not only bring about additional financial resources but also help leverage other development partners and connect the State to lessons from global good practices.
The World Bank has been supporting the State through engagements such as the Second Kerala State Transport Project, Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project, National Hydrology Project, National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project Phase 2 and the Kerala Local Government and Service Delivery Project.