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WB Commits US$250m for Tsunami-hit Countries

The World Bank announced Friday it will make available US$250 million as its initial contribution for emergency reconstruction in the immediate aftermath of the tsunami disaster. This amount will cover the next six months while further financing for longer-term reconstruction needs is identified.


The executive directors of the World Bank Group discussed today the tsunami crisis affecting South and Southeast Asia and East Africa. Bank management was requested to consider additional ways to further increase the bank's support as the needs are determined.


The US$250 million can be made available quickly from existing programs, and will include the provision of emergency credits and grants to respond to the immediate needs in the countries hit by this disaster. Countries that have requested immediate assistance include Indonesia, Maldives and Sri Lanka.


The World Bank is in direct contact with affected governments and development partners, including the UN, the Asian Development Bank, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, and other donors, to ensure a coordinated approach. World Bank experts across different sectors are working closely with government officials and experts from other agencies to plan for a quick assessment of the damage in the tsunami-hit countries and prioritize the reconstruction efforts. 


To ensure the coordination of emergency efforts within the UN framework, World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn today participated in conference calls between UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, heads of UN agencies, ambassadors of affected countries, and the core donor support group comprising the US, India, Australia and Japan.


(China.org.cn December 31, 2004)

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