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World Bank offers Indonesia US$1b in loans


Nusa Dua: The World Bank announced funding of up to US$1bil (RM4bil) for Indonesia after it was rocked by a string of recent disasters, including a deadly earthquake-tsunami that killed thousands.

CEO Kristalina Georgieva yesterday unveiled the funds at Indonesian island Bali, where the Bank and the International Monetary Fund have been holding their annual meetings.

A 7.5-magnitude quake and a resulting tsunami tore through Palu city on Sulawesi island on Sept 28, killing more than 2,000 people and leaving thousands more missing, presumed dead.

Rescue teams scoured the wreckage for a fortnight before calling off the search for the dead, acknowledging as many as 5,000 missing people might never be found.

Georgieva said the funds being made available by the Bank in the form of loans could be used for reconstruction but were also intended to help Indonesia build “resilience”, so it would be better prepared in the face of future disasters.

“Disasters will continue to hit and with climate change there will be more,” said Georgieva, who visited Palu earlier this week.

“The best memorial we can build for the victims of disaster is to build better, so next time when a disaster hits fewer people are affected, fewer lives are lost, and there is less damage.”

Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati welcomed the pledge.

“This is not one earmark for a certain project, this is something that can be used by the government to support (people) during this uncertain time,” she said.

The funding was particularly important in the current economic climate, she said, “with much higher interest rates, tightening of liquidity, (it is) a much harder environment for us to get financing from outside”. — AFP

Indonesia

   

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