Jakarta, October 29, 2010 – On behalf of the World Bank Group, Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati has extended her condolences to the Republic of Indonesia for the two natural disasters that struck West Sumatra and Central Java earlier this week. The World Bank, she says, is also prepared to respond to any Indonesian government requests of post-disaster support while also acknowledging Indonesia’s progress in disaster management.
“Personally and on behalf of the World Bank Group, I would like to convey my condolences and sorrow over the tsunami in Mentawai Island and the volcanic eruption of Mount Merapi,” wrote Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati in a message to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. “The World Bank stands ready to support Indonesia in managing post-disaster activities. We understand that Indonesia has extensive experience in managing natural disasters. Our prayers go out to the victims of the disasters, as well as to Mr. President and First Lady to have the strength to go through these difficult times and continue leading Indonesia.”
In the immediate aftermath of the Mount Merapi eruption, the World Bank office in Jakarta deployed expert staff to assist Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) in compiling data from the field to assess the preliminary damage, loss and needs for response and recovery. Several villages in the immediately affected areas, as well as in the locations of the refugee camps, are among those covered under Indonesia’s REKOMPAK (Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of Communities and Housing) program, which is part of the larger PNPM Mandiri (National Program for Community Empowerment) program supported by the World Bank. Block grants allocated for the REKOMPAK program in these affected areas may be reallocated for the immediate needs of village communities. A similar damage and loss assessment is also being conducted in Mentawai Island, with assistance from PNPM facilitators and the local government.
The World Bank has been actively involved in helping Indonesia cope with the disasters, and more importantly in helping communities to better adapt to catastrophic events. Starting from helping Aceh and Yogyakarta to rebuild after the disasters there, the World Bank continues to support the Indonesian government in building its Disaster Risk Management systems and capacity at various levels. In more recent disasters like the Padang earthquake, the World Bank supported government by helping BNPB implement damage and loss assessments and mobilize projects already on the ground.