Saturday, January 22, 2005

ADB pledges US$800 million to Indonesia, in addition to tsunami relief

Source: The Jakarta Post

MANILA (AFP): The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said here on Saturday it has pledged US$800 million for Indonesia in 2005 on top of the support being provided for tsunami relief and rehabilitation in that country.

"Disbursements under these commitments will be additional to the significant special financial and operational support that ADB will be providing for rehabilitation and reconstruction work in the tsunami-affected areas," the bank said.

The new aid to Indonesia will go to infrastructure, local government finance, water resources, agriculture productivity, education, and nutrition, vice-president Joseph Eichenberger was quoted as saying.

Despite progress on the macroeconomic front, Indonesia still faces "several significant structural challenges," such as the need for massive investment and greater predictability and clarity in administration, the bank said in a statement from itsheadquarters in the Philippine capital.

The $800 million will focus on medium-term economic needs such as improving governance and fighting corruption, decentralization, promoting human development, improved environmental management and "increasing long-term growth prospects."

The ADB has already allocated an initial $675 million for the rehabilitation and reconstruction effort in Indonesia, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka which were all hit by the quake-spawned killer tsunamis in December.