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World Bank supports disaster-resilient infrastructure in Sichuan

World Bank, October 14, 2016 Adjust font size:

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a $300 million loan on October 13 to support efforts to build disaster-resilient infrastructure, strengthen risk reduction and improve emergency preparedness in China’s Sichuan province.

The Lushan Region of Sichuan province is one of the world’s most geologically and meteorologically active regions. Earthquake risks are particularly high in the region, where some of China’s largest earthquakes have occurred. The Wenchuan Earthquake in 2008 killed more than 69,000 people and led to $123 billion in economic damages. In 2013, almost five years after the Wenchuan Earthquake, the Lushan earthquake struck the province, where 2.2 million people were affected.

"The new project will focus on strengthening critical infrastructure, including roads and emergency infrastructure that were prioritized in the Lushan Earthquake Reconstruction Master Plan. The project will also promote knowledge transfer and capacity building at the local level by financing a pilot – multi-hazard risk information platform – in Shimian County. The pilot will provide an entry point for systematically integrating existing disaster risk management systems with socio-economic plans and investments, and act as a vehicle for knowledge sharing across districts, counties and municipalities in Sichuan,” said Madhu Raghunath, World Bank’s Team Leader for the project.

The Lushan Earthquake Reconstruction and Risk Reduction Project will finance critical rural and urban road infrastructure with a special focus on providing emergency access to populations and connecting populations to emergency centers, hospitals and other infrastructure. The project will use the principles of “build back better” and will contribute to longer-term socio-economic development, including enhancing urban infrastructure equality, and integrate risk reduction measures in the project counties and districts. The project will also strengthen emergency preparedness in Shimian County to serve as a demonstration for other counties.

The project cost is $384 million, to be financed with an IBRD loan of $300 million and government financing of $84 million. The project will be implemented between 2017 and 2022.

About 155,700 people living in the project cities, counties or districts will directly benefit from the urban infrastructure financed by the project. An additional 157,300 people will benefit from the rehabilitated rural roads.

The Lushan Earthquake Reconstruction and Risk Reduction Project builds on the engagement that started in the 2000s with the World Bank-supported Wenchuan Earthquake Reconstruction Project, which focused on restoring essential infrastructure, health and education services. The project also introduced seismic and flood risk reduction and built capacity of local governments to manage recovery programs.