ADB President Takehiko Nakao (left) Pledged US$1 Billion in Support of Sulawesi Earthquake and Tsunami Affected Areas in Indonesia. The Support Received by President Joko Widodo (right) - Photo by ADB

Nusa Dua (TheInsiderStories) – Asian Development Bank (ADB) pledged up to US$1 billion for emergency assistance to support immediate budgetary needs and reconstruction efforts in the affected areas.

The commitment has been delivered during ADB’s President Takehiko Nakao met with Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Nusa Dua, Bali on Friday (12/10). At the meeting he conveyed his condolences to Indonesia and the people affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Central Sulawesi.

Regarding the emergency support, Nakao mentioned to President Widodo that in addition to an emergency budget support loan of up to $500 million, ADB stands ready to provide additional financing of about $500 million through project loans to support reconstruction of critical infrastructure, such as water supply and sanitation, schools, roads and bridges, and electricity networks among others.

The $1 billion emergency assistance is on top of ADB’s regular sovereign lending program to Indonesia, which averages $2 billion annually.

ADB’s emergency assistance loans will 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.

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

Beside the emergency assistant, ADB also approved a $3 million emergency grant, funded from ADB’s Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund, to support immediate relief efforts in Central Sulawesi.

In addition to sovereign lending, ADB’s private sector operations provided loans to private sector projects in such strategic areas as geothermal energy. ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.

Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.

During the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, Nakao also met with Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla and Minister of Public Works and Housing Basuki Hadimuljono.

In the meeting with President Widodo, Nakao commended Indonesia’s sound macroeconomic management. He emphasized that Indonesia’s economic fundamentals are solid as shown by the strong GDP growth rate of 5.2 percent and stable inflation rate of 3.4 percent expected in 2018.

He noted that the current account deficit of around 2.5 percent of GDP is manageable and that the government’s commitment to containing fiscal deficit at around 2 percent of GDP is noteworthy. Foreign exchange reserves have been kept at a sufficient level, and Indonesian sovereign bond was rated as investment grade during the current administration.

“The recent depreciation of the Indonesian Rupiah may be overblown, driven by speculation, as Indonesia’s overall macroeconomic position today is strong,” Nakao rated

Email: linda.silaen@theinsiderstories.com