That announcement was made Thursday morning by World Bank-president Jim Yong Kim at a press conference here.
“Our staff on the ground are already working with the Ministry of Public Works to begin restoring access to the hardest hit areas in the south of the country, including a key bridge that was washed away. It is too early to know the full impact of the storm, as some of the most vulnerable communities live along the coast and cannot yet be reached”, Kim said.
He noted that the Haitian Government took early action, warning people and opening 1,300 shelters.
According to the World Bank president, the Civil Protection Municipal Committees, supported by the bank, went house-to-house in communities to encourage residents to leave high-risk areas.
He also said the bank is sending a rapid assessment team to coordinate with Haiti’s partners in establishing the extent of the damage.
“We will be using funds from existing operations to help clear debris, repair bridges and roads, help kids return to school, and clean up mudslides, which require heavy and expensive equipment”, Kim said.
According to the World Bank official, Haiti has also requested a payout from the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility, which was developed with assistance from the World Bank to provide insurance against natural disasters.
“Our sympathy and solidarity go to the people of Haiti and to all those affected in the Caribbean by Hurricane Matthew”.
Disasters like this remind us of the need to help countries build greater resilience against ever-more frequent shocks.
Extreme weather also underscores the urgency for global action against climate change, he added.
On Thursday, Haiti’s interior Minister told the Associated Press that at least 108 people were killed as a result of the storm.
The full extent of the devastation is only now becoming apparent as officials from Haiti’s civil protection agency and international workers continue to assess the damage.
Officials say the death toll is expected to rise as aid workers are still trying to access villages in the southern part of the country.
Meanwhile the powerful storm slammed into the northwestern Bahamas on Thursday morning. There are reports of several fallen trees and power lines.
The Miami based National Hurricane Centre in its forecast on Thursday predicted that the storm would strengthen from a Category 3 to 4 storm en route to Florida’s Atlantic coast. The storm could either take direct aim at Florida or brush along the state’s coast on Thursday night.
The National Hurricane Center has extended its hurricane warning area farther north into Georgia and more than 12 million U.S. residents were under hurricane watches and warnings.
Roads in Florida, Georgia and North and South Carolina were jammed and gas stations and food stores ran out of supplies as the storm approached, carrying with it strong storm surges, heavy rain and sustained winds that accelerated overnight to about 125 miles per hour.
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