WASHINGTON: The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a $100 million loan to help the Indian state of Odisha strengthen its early forecasting systems for improved response to disasters and enhance its social protection coverage for poor and vulnerable households through digital platforms.
The coastal state of Odisha is vulnerable to natural disasters with cyclones hitting the state every 15 months on an average. The state’s 480 km coastline is also exposed to tsunami risk. Recurrent disasters significantly impact economic activities including agricultural production, infrastructure and access to health, education, and jobs.
The Odisha State Capability and Resilient Growth Program will help reduce losses caused by natural disasters through a multi-hazard digital warning system and strengthen the state’s data collection efforts for better resilience planning. The program will also increase social protection coverage through a cash transfer program, with coastal and underserved communities receiving assistance through online delivery platforms (Mo-Sewa Kendras).
“The Program will help Government of Odisha scale up existing social protection systems to better protect vulnerable households from climate shocks,” said Auguste Tano Kouame, the World Bank’s Country Director for India. “The proposed engagement complements reform priorities identified by the Government of Odisha while building on the extensive program of technical assistance provided by World Bank to the state over the past decade.”
The new Program will support the state’s efforts to enhance digital social service delivery systems.
“Better data and delivery systems can lead to stronger resilience. The Program can help the state address risks and gender gaps in social protection programs and allow for future planning,” said Shrayana Bhattacharya, Ambrish Shahi, Samik Sundar Das, the Task Team Leaders for the project.
The $100 million loan from the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) uses the Program-for-Results (PforR) financing instrument that links disbursement of funds directly to the achievement of specific program results. The Program has a maturity of 12.5 years with a grace period of three years.
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