(BROOKLYN, New York): CARIBBEAN TIMES NEWS (CTN) has learned that Jamaica will receive a $285 million contingent loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) that will bolster this Caribbean nation’s response efforts and help protect its public purse. The IDB financing allows Jamaica to pay for any extraordinary public expenses that could arise from emergencies caused by natural disasters.

The loan is intended to buffer the financial shock of a disaster on the Jamaica’s fiscal balance, thereby increasing the nation’s financial stability and efficiency as well as its disaster preparedness and response. With a population of more than 2.7 million Jamaica ranks 19th in the world for its exposure to natural disasters, which include hurricanes, earthquakes and droughts. Between 1988 and 2012, 11 named storms made landfall in Jamaica. It’s estimated that Hurricane Gilbert cost Jamaica 28 percent of its GDP.

As the effects of climate change intensify, Jamaica can expect extreme weather events to become more frequent and more intense, resulting in greater impacts on the environment, economy and population. Moody’s financial rating service lists Jamaica as among the four most vulnerable small island countries when it comes to the credit implications of climate change.

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