The World Bank has pledged up to $1 billion to Indonesia to help with relief and rebuilding in the wake of the Sept. 28 earthquakes and tsunami that killed more than 1,500 people. The funding, which the bank announced on Oct. 14, would be available if it is requested by the Indonesian government.
The bank’s assistance, nearly all of which would be in the form of a loan, could include cash transfers to the poorest 150,000 families for a period of six months to one year, it said.
The package also would include a $5-million grant, which would go for "technical assistance for detailed planning to ensure reconstruction is resilient and community-led," the bank noted.
The loan also could include “a new stand-alone emergency recovery program” to pay for reconstructing public facilities and infrastructure, the bank said. In addition, it could go for bolstering monitoring and early-warning systems and rebuilding housing and neighborhood infrastructure and services.
The bank’s preliminary estimate puts the post-earthquakes-and-tsunami loss of infrastructure and residential and nonresidential property at $531 million. Of that, nonresidential facilities are estimated at $185 million, residential at $181 million and infrastructure at $165 million.
The United States government has announced $3.7 million in humanitarian assistance from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for Indonesia disaster relief, according to the State Dept.
A State Dept. spokesperson said via email that a USAID team of disaster specialists is in Indonesia to carry out damage assessments and coordinate U.S. humanitarian response with local and Indonesian officials and humanitarian groups.
“The team is focused on priority needs, such as shelter and water, sanitation and hygiene,” the spokesperson added.
Media reports quoted an Indonesian official as saying earlier in October that the country plans a new approach to finance the disaster recovery, which may include “catastrophe bonds.”
USAID, citing Indonesia’s disaster-management agency, said that as of Oct. 5 the earthquakes and tsunami had caused 1,571 deaths and injured more than 2,540 people.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the initial earthquake had a 6.1 magnitude and was followed three hours later by a magnitude 7.5 quake, whose epicenter was about 48 miles north of Palu on Sulawesi Island.