ADB approves loan for disaster recovery in Indonesia

MANILA, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Tuesday that it has approved a 500-million-US dollar emergency assistance loan to support Indonesia's recovery and rehabilitation of Lombok and Central Sulawesi after recent disasters.

VCG31N1052422144.jpgA deadly earthquake measuring 7.5 magnitude and the tsunami wave caused by it has destroyed the city of Palu and much of the area in Central Sulawesi. (Photo: VCG)

The Manila-based bank said the loan will provide immediate funding for the government's recovery and rehabilitation action plans, targeting urgent needs such as temporary shelters, social protection and services, as well as economic recovery through cash assistance, credit schemes and skills improvement programs.

"ADB's emergency assistance loan provides timely and flexible financing to help mitigate the devastating impacts of the recent disasters," said Sona Shrestha, ADB's Director for Public Management, Financial Sector, and Trade Division for Southeast Asia.

"The quick-disbursing loan modality will help ensure that post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation expenditures are met without compromising critical economic and social development expenditures in the national budget," she added. 

The Emergency Assistance for Recovery and Rehabilitation from Recent Disasters is part of ADB's response to two recent disasters that hit Indonesia including a magnitude-7.0 earthquake that struck Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara province, in August, and a magnitude-7.4 earthquake that struck Central Sulawesi province in September.

These disasters claimed the lives of more than 2,600 people, injured some 18,000 people and displaced more than half a million, according to the ADB.

The ADB said housing and public infrastructure have suffered extensive damage, adding that the impact of the Central Sulawesi disaster has been particularly severe as the earthquake caused landslides, tsunami, and liquefaction, a condition where the ground itself loses stability and takes on liquid properties.

According to the ADB, the initial assessments suggest over 2.2 billion US dollars in damage and losses in the affected provinces.

In October, the bank approved an emergency grant of 3 million US dollars from the Asia Pacific Disaster Respond Fund for immediate relief in Central Sulawesi.

In addition, it is also supporting the Indonesian government with technical assistance in post-disaster needs assessments and reconstruction planning.

The ADB said it is preparing new technical assistance to build capacity for robust monitoring, evaluation, and financial reporting of the rehabilitation and reconstruction plans.