Statement by ADB President Takehiko Nakao during the press conference on ADB's assistance to the Philippines to help reconstruct communities devastated by Typhoon Yolanda, also known internationally as Typhoon Haiyan. (as drafted)
Before I make my announcement, I must express personally, and on behalf of all of us at ADB, our very deepest condolences to the Filipino people who are suffering greatly in the wake of Typhoon Yolanda. This country has been our home from the establishment of ADB, and our hearts go out to those who have lost family members, friends, livelihoods and property in this terrible tragedy. Seeing on television the desperation of the survivors trying to cope with this catastrophe has touched all of us deeply. To all who are affected, know that kasama namin kayo – we are with you – today, and for the long haul.
As our initial response, I am pleased to announce that ADB is providing $23 million in grant assistance to address immediate needs. We are also offering more than $500 million to help with reconstruction in devastated communities.
Of the $23 million in grants being provided for immediate relief assistance for affected communities, $3 million will come from the Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund, ADB’s emergency assistance facility, and $20 million from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, a Trust Fund financed by the Government of Japan.
In addition to the immediate relief assistance, ADB stands ready to provide a $500 million quick-disbursing program loan to help post-disaster rehabilitation and reconstruction.
ADB is also exploring other ways of mobilizing resources including the establishment of an ADB-administered multi-donor trust fund.
I want to stress the importance of a properly coordinated effort among donors, development partners, and the Government of the Philippines. We are working in close collaboration with the government and all other international agencies to provide hope, and rebuild the lives of more than 11 million people affected by what is being described as one of the Philippines’ worst-ever natural disasters. In this regard, the first coordination meeting was held at ADB today with World Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
ADB has formed the Typhoon Yolanda Response Team, made up of 40 senior staff members from across the Bank with experience in post-disaster situations, to coordinate with the government and development partners. The team will soon be engaged in a comprehensive damage and needs assessment for recovery and rehabilitation.
Despite the depth and breadth of this tragedy, we know the Filipino community has the strength and the spirit to rebuild – and to rebuild better, stronger, more resilient communities for the future.
ADB will provide full support to the people and the Government of the Philippines together with other development partners to speedily implement both needed relief and reconstruction – especially as the Philippines is our home.
Thank you – I would be pleased to take your questions.