Colombia Receives US$300 Million World Bank Disbursement to Support its Response to La Nia

WASHINGTON, D.C. December 1, 2022 – To support the emergency response to the on-going disaster intensified by the La Niña phenomenon, the Colombian government yesterday received a US $300 million disbursement as part of a World Bank development policy loan with a catastrophe deferred drawdown option (Cat DDO) approved in December 2021.

This contingent credit line, which provides immediate liquidity to countries in the aftermath of high-impact events linked to natural hazards and health emergencies, was approved in December 2021. Cat DDO loans are activated and disbursed after an official declaration of a state of emergency, in accordance with national law. On November 1, the Colombian government declared a state of national disaster resulting from La Niña. The decree stated that heavy rainfall was creating a heightened risk for flooding, landslides, torrential rains, flash floods, gale-force winds and electrical storms.

According to the National Disaster Risk Management Unit (UNGRD), as of Oct. 31, the cumulative impact of the current La Niña, which began in August 2021, was 3,569 emergencies in 864 municipalities and 32 departments. Additionally, crop damage is compromising food supplies and increasing prices. According to the latest data from the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (IDEAM), the impact of La Niña will continue until at least February 2023.

“We are committed to supporting Colombia during this emergency caused by heavy rains and flooding, which mainly affect the most vulnerable,” said Mark R. Thomas, World Bank director for Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela. “We also recognize Colombia’s global leadership in disaster risk financial management and the inclusion of the Cat DDO as part of its national strategy.”

The Cat DDO is a key instrument in the country’s disaster risk financing strategy. This is the third Cat DDO the World Bank has disbursed to Colombia. The first, approved in 2008, was disbursed in 2011 following La Niña, and the second, approved in 2012, was activated in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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