Japan to assist El Salvador with disaster risk management
- Published: Tuesday, 31 May 2016 08:06
On May 28th, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a loan agreement with the Government of the Republic of El Salvador to provide a Japanese ODA loan of up to five billion yen for natural disaster recovery. The loan will guarantee reserve funds in advance so that a quick disbursement for post-disaster reconstruction is secured when there is a financial need. For this purpose, JICA will provide a very low interest stand-by loan (0.01% / year) to the Government of the Republic of El Salvador. This loan is the first stand-by loan for natural disaster recovery in Central America.
El Salvador has the third highest percentage of people exposed to disaster risk in the world, with 88.7 percent of the land and 95.4 percent of the population at risk of multiple kinds of disasters. The country often suffers from natural disasters, including earthquakes due to the country’s location on the fault line between the Cocos and Caribbean Plates; frequent volcanic eruptions; and flooding and landslides as El Salvador lies on the path that hurricanes and other storms take when moving from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. El Salvador is the 17th highest impacted country in the world in terms of the effect of disasters on the gross domestic product.
The Government of the Republic of El Salvador is working to alleviate and manage disaster risk, and has established four policy actions:
- Strengthening community capacity for disaster risk reduction,
- Strengthening the capacity of the Department of Climate Change Adaptation and Strategic Risk Management to boost public infrastructure,
- Strengthening the capacity to analyze and address natural disasters (particularly earthquakes and tsunamis), and
- Mainstreaming disaster risk reduction.
The new loan will support the advancement of policy actions needed to improve the disaster risk management capacity in the above areas, meet the temporary financial needs that occur when a large-scale disaster strikes to support speedy reconstruction, and strengthen the capacity to alleviate and manage disaster risk in El Salvador.