Bangladesh needs more help to recover from Sidr aftermath: Patel

World Bank vice president Praful C Patel Saturday said Bangladesh needed more assistance from the international community than it received to recover from the damage left by mega-cyclone Sidr. "Bangladesh deserves more (assistance)," he told a joint briefing of the government and the WB at the Westin Dhaka hotel in Gulshan.

bdnews24.com
Published : 15 Dec 2007, 09:19 AM
Updated : 15 Dec 2007, 09:19 AM
Dhaka, Dec 15 (bdnews24.com)— World Bank vice president Praful C Patel Saturday said Bangladesh needed more assistance from the international community than it received to recover from the damage left by mega-cyclone Sidr.
"Bangladesh deserves more (assistance)," he told a joint briefing of the government and the WB at the Westin Dhaka hotel in Gulshan. Patel arrived in Dhaka Thursday on a three-day visit to see for himself the effects of the cyclone on life and economy.
Environment adviser CS Karim represented the government at the briefing.
Patel asked Bangladesh's development partners to support the disaster-prone country as it moved into high gear to meet the challenges of future disasters and the increasing impact of climate change.
"Bangladesh has made huge progress in dealing with recurring disasters over past decades and its improving response has significantly reduced the loss of life and suffering," he observed.
He appealed: "The government alone can't deal with a problem of such an enormous magnitude."
The Bank has offered Bangladesh $325 million assistance to cover immediate, medium-term and long-term needs. "Of which, $100 million will be available as budget support by January," Patel told reporters.
He said that the remaining amount would be given to help citizens rebuild their livelihoods and for disaster management and prevention. But the amount would not be available before April, he added.
Among the other donors, the Asian Development Bank had pledged only $25 million for post-cyclone rehabilitation, said Economic Relations Division secretary Aminul Islam Bhuiyan.
Bhuiyan could not say anything about the other donors. "We got relief, which is being dealt with by the disaster management and relief ministry," he added.
On whether the government was satisfied with the donors' response, CS Karim said: "We're happy to see the quick response."
However, Karim declined to comment on the amount received so far from the donors.
The government in a formal assessment Wednesday told the donors that it would need over $2.2 billion, including $400 million in budget support, to recover from the damage caused by the cyclone.
Of the assessment, $458 million was an immediate demand while $1,351 million as a long-term measure, according to the Economic Relations Division.
At the briefing, the WB vice president for South Asia also spoke of Bangladesh's imminent economic challenges.
"Price shocks in the international market alone are likely to inflict Bangladesh a loss of $1.6 billion," he said. "Floods will cost over $1 billion and the cyclone Sidr probably over $2 billion."
WB country director Xian Zhu was present.
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