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WB Chief Calls for Fast and Effective Way to Support Tsunami-hit Communities

The World Bank (WB) leader has said that the bank will support the Sri Lankan government in "a fast, transparent and effective way" to assist the tsunami-hit communities to rebuild their homes.


"The international community has shown its tremendous support for the entire region," WB President James D Wolfensohn told reporters here Saturday night.


"WB will support the Government as it develops a fast, transparent and effective way to convert the billions of dollars pledged all over the world into the rupee in the hands of the poor fisherman in Sri Lanka to repair his boat or for a community to rebuild its homes," Wolfensohn said.


He called for accountability and transparency from Sri Lankan authorities in utilizing the massive flow of foreign donor assistance in rebuilding the Tsunami ravaged coastal line.


The bank has reserved about US$100 million for post-Tsunami rebuilding in Sri Lanka from existing projects.


In addition, an emergency credit of not less than US$75 million will be made to enable the government to begin recovery work.        


"We are going to proceed on the assumption that it is a human tragedy and not going to see whether one is Tamil, Sinhalese or Muslim," Wolfensohn said.


Accompanied by the Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse, the World Bank chief visited the Tsunami ravaged southern and eastern region on Saturday. 

(Xinhua News Agency January 9, 2005)

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