|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
Typhoon Yolanda was one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded and left a path of destruction in the central part of the Philippines. The typhoon made its first of six land falls in the Central Philippines on 8 November 2013 and left the Philippine area of responsibility on 9 November 2013. The government declared a national state of emergency on 11 November 2013.
On November 13, 2013, ADB announced a comprehensive package of assistance to the government, consisting of (i) a $500 million emergency loan, (ii) a $3 million quick-disbursing grant under the Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund, and (iii) a proposed JFPR emergency grant of $20 million. It was emphasized at the outset that the JFPR grant would be designed in a way to minimize demands on government capacities while at the same time ensuring alignment with government plans and full coordination with relevant government agencies.
In the area hit by Typhoon Yolanda, about 10 million people have been affected, with about 4.3 million internally displaced persons, of whom 380,000 are living in 1,500 evacuation centers. The Eastern Visayas (Region VIII) was one of the worst affected regions by the disaster. As of 21 November, about a third of the total population affected by the typhoon was in Region VIII (3.5 million people). Even before Typhoon Yolanda hit the Eastern Visayas, Region VIII was one of the poorest regions in the country. The poverty incidence has steadily risen since 2006 and was recorded at 45.4% of the population as of the first semester of 2012. In Eastern and Northern Samar more than half of the population is poor. The Eastern Visayas contributed 2% of the country's gross domestic product and 5% of total agricultural production (2010 2012 average). According to the 21 November 2013 report of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the majority of the casualties caused by Typhoon Yolanda were in Region VIII (3,725 out of 4,011). Region VIII also reported 17,821 injured and 1,573 missing persons.
According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the estimated cost of damages is about $18.4 million for roads, $148 million for agriculture, and $4.2 million for health facilities. Estimates for schools are not yet available. Most of the damage was caused by tsunami-like storm surges, strong winds, and heavy rain resulting in loss of lives, property, and infrastructure. There is a need for (i) recovery of the most affected population, contributing at the same time to strengthening resilience; and (ii) creating an enabling environment for better reconstruction. While a government-led needs assessment has only recently been initiated, initial assessments and international experience with previous disasters point at a need for (i) small grants to rebuild community infrastructure that is resilient, is prioritized by communities, and uses local skills and local materials; (ii) repairing of schools that have been used as emergency shelters, so that the schools can reopen as soon as possible; (iii) restoring of temporal infrastructure; (iv) skills development of local masons in constructing resilient housing; (v) support for the development/update of risk-sensitive spatial plans that can better guide land use planning and the reconstruction process; and (f) capacity development for local governments on how to effectively manage reconstruction activities and ensure that they are contributing to long-term resilience. In particular, local governments will need support in developing detailed designs so that the features take into consideration current and future risks (including long-term climate risk).
One of the four key support areas included in the Country Partnership Strategy, 2011 2016 is reduced environmental degradation and vulnerability to climate change and disasters. The Project will contribute to this key support area and is fully in line with the Country Partnership Strategy and the Government of the Philippines' Philippine Development Plan, 2011 2016 and Region VIII's Regional Development Plan, 2011-2016. The grant is being processed in parallel with a proposed Emergency Assistance Loan (EAL) that aims at the revitalization of the Visayas regional economies. The outcome will be the adverse social impact of the tyhoon on the poor is mitigated. The proposed EAL will provide $500 million in immediate short term financial support to the government to meet its additional financing gap arising from tax collection revenue shortfalls and new spending initiatives under the government's Yolanda Recovery and Reconstruction Plan and other public expenditures in 2014. The JFPR grant will be stand alone, but magnify the impact of the EAL.