Nov 222013
WASHINGTON – The World Bank on Friday added $480 million in emergency aid to the Philippines, taking to nearly $1 billion its support as the death toll from super typhoon Haiyan passed 5,200.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim made the pledge, added to $500 million committed Monday, in a phone call with Philippine President Benigno Aquino, the development lender said.

The new money will be provided through the bank’s existing Community Driven Development Project for the Philippines, which will allow localities to tap the funds for their own rebuilding projects.

“The project will empower communities themselves to lead the reconstruction effort, by offering a transparent way for people to identify their own needs,” the Bank said in a statement.

The Bank has already deployed disaster specialists to Manila to help the government assess the damages and identify rebuilding priorities in the wake of the storm, which blasted through the center of the country on November 8, flattening entire communities and leaving up to four million people displaced.

Early estimates by analysts of the typhoon’s economic cost to the Philippines have been put at around $14 billion.

“We have been encouraged by the resilience of the Filipino people and the determination shown by President Aquino and his team as they work to recover from a disaster of unprecedented scale,” Kim said in the statement. Agence France– Presse

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