AIIB Approves $ 125 Million to Support Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Resilience in Kerala
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved $ 125 million to help Kerala better prepare for natural disasters, the impact of climate change and epidemics and pandemics.
In recent years, Kerala has been hit by a series of natural disasters. In 2018, floods affected more than 5.4 million people with financial losses estimated at $ 3.74 billion. The state, like many others in India, has also been hit hard by COVID-19, straining an already fragile disaster management system.
An estimated 49.6 million people will benefit from this loan, which is part of a global package of $ 530 million co-financed by the Government of Kerala, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development of the World Bank Group and the French Development Agency.
Two key government programs will benefit from the financial injection – the Kerala Reconstruction Development Program and the State Health Mission – both of which aim to improve the institutional resilience of state governments.
“Strengthening Kerala’s capacity to cope with multiple shock factors is crucial for a resilient recovery,” said AIIB Director General Rajat Misra. “AIIB’s investment will help strengthen disaster preparedness in all sectors to ensure a sustainable development path for the state and ultimately for India.”
The joint program will strengthen local disaster resilience plans and improve water resource management in the flood-prone Pamba River basin. The investment will also be channeled into digital technology to improve surveillance and help Kerala better manage and prepare for the onset of zoonotic diseases and pandemics.
Misra noted that a key component of the program includes climate resilient development in infrastructure sectors such as urban development, flood management and roads. He added that up to $ 75 million of the AIIB loan portion will help climate change adaptation.