ADB promises 1 billion USD in emergency fund for Indonesia

 The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has pledged 1 billion USD in emergency assistance fund to support Indonesia's reconstruction efforts in areas affected by earthquakes and subsequent tsunami in Central Sulawesi province.

ADB promises 1 billion USD in emergency fund for Indonesia

The promise was made at a meeting between ADB President Takehiko Nakao and Indonesian President Joko Widodo on the sidelines of the annual meeting of International Monetary Fund and the World Bank held in Bali on October 12.

The ADB emergency assistance fund consists of 500 million USD to support the Indonesian Government's emergency budget and 500 million USD to finance reconstruction of important infrastructure, such as water supply and sanitation, schools, roads and bridges, and electricity networks among others. 

The emergency assistance fund is on top of the ADB's regular sovereign loan programme to Indonesia, which stands at an average of 2 billion USD annually. 

The ADB's loans would be prepared in close coordination with the government, affected communities, and other stakeholders, and submitted to the ADB Board of Directors on a fast-track basis. 

The loans would have special terms, with grace period of 8 years and a repayment period of 32 years, longer than usual. The ADB will also provide technical assistance to support government-led damage needs assessments as well as the recovery and reconstruction planning.

Besides the emergency assistance fund, the ADB has approved a 3 million USD of grant to support immediate relief efforts in Indonesia's Central Sulawesi province.

Suwelasi was ravaged by two quakes measuring 6.1 and 7.5 on the Richter scale on September 28. A subsequent tsunami rose after the second quake, hitting the area sometime later in the afternoon.

According to Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), as of 13:00 on October 11, the powerful earthquakes and tsunami had left 2,073 people dead, 10,679 injured, and 680 missing. A total of 78,994 people were evacuated to 112 safe locations in Central Sulawesi, while 8,731 were moved off the island altogether.

Indonesia is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the "Ring of Fire", an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

A series of earthquakes in July and August killed nearly 500 people on the holiday island of Lombok, hundreds of kilometres southwest of Sulawesi.

In 2004, a substantial earthquake off the northern Indonesian island of Sumatra triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean, killing 220,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 168,000 in Indonesia.–VNA

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