10/09/2018, 15.59
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Bali: IMF donations to rebuild Lombok and Sulawesi

by Mathias Hariyadi

The two financial agencies organise fund-raising at their annual meeting, currently underway, in Nusa Dua. Some 2 billion rupiah have been raised. For IMG managing director Christian Lagarde, “what we have seen in Palu and in Lombok today [will remain] very much in our minds.”

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – During their annual meeting, currently underway in Nusa Dua, Bali (Indonesia), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG) launched a fund raising initiative to help the Indonesian government rebuild areas devastated by the recent quakes that hit the islands of Sulawesi and Lombok.

Delegations from 189 countries are present at the event, which opened yesterday until 14 October with 34,000 people – ministers, parliamentarians, officials, and experts – registered to participate.

The host country (Indonesia) is not behind the fund-raising. The latter is the result of a spontaneous expression of international solidarity towards Indonesia, especially the residents of Central Sulawesi and West Nusa Tenggara, said Peter Jacobs, head of the Task Force for the IMF WBG Annual Meeting.

“Indonesia has prepared this international meeting very well despite being hit by successive natural disasters,” Jacobs said in a statement. “Foreign delegations are called to offer their support.”

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde the other day visited the island of Lombok where a series of earthquakes killed more than 500 people in early August.

"Three years ago, when we decided to organise our 2018 Annual Meetings here in Indonesia, we did not know that the country would be hit by these terrible natural disasters,” Lagarde said at the end of her visit to the stricken island.

“What we did know was that Indonesia would be the best place to hold our Annual Meetings. And Indonesia remains the best place!”

"So, at the IMF we asked ourselves how we could help Indonesia in the face of these natural disasters? First, cancelling the Meetings was not an option because that would be a tremendous waste of the resources [. . .]. Second, an IMF loan was not an option because the Indonesian economy does not need it”.

"And so, as a symbol of our solidarity with the Indonesian people, IMF staff—supported by management—decided to personally and voluntarily make a contribution to the recovery efforts. Today that contribution stands at 2 billion Rupiah (US$ 130,000) and it will go to a range of relief efforts in Lombok and Sulawesi—with more to come. We have also launched an appeal for participants at the Annual Meetings so that they too can contribute.”

"Two days ago, the Secretary of the IMF, Jianhai Lin, accompanied Minister Luhut on a visit to Palu in Sulawesi to see the situation for himself and on behalf of the IMF.  We are now going to go ahead with our Annual Meetings, but with what we have seen in Palu and in Lombok today very much in our minds.”

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