MANILA, PHILIPPINES (24 December 2018) — Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Mr. Takehiko Nakao today extended his condolences to Indonesia following the loss of lives and damage caused by a tsunami disaster on 22 December.
“On behalf of the Asian Development Bank, I extend my profound sympathies and condolences to the government and the people of Indonesia, especially the affected families, for the loss of lives and damage caused by the high tide and tsunami waves in the Sunda Strait, particularly in the provinces of Banten and Lampung,” he said in a letter to the Indonesian President Mr. Joko Widodo. “We are heartbroken to hear of this third calamity to hit Indonesia in such a short time span.”
The tsunami struck coastal towns of Banten and Lampung provinces on Saturday night. News reports so far are citing at least 280 dead and more than 1,000 people injured.
“ADB continues to stand with the people and the Government of Indonesia in this difficult time,” Mr. Nakao said. “Our thoughts are with the victims and their families. ADB is ready to provide support to the government and affected people as necessary.”
ADB approved a $500 million emergency assistance loan in November to support the Government of Indonesia’s recovery and rehabilitation in Lombok and Central Sulawesi following recent disasters. These included a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara province, in August, and a magnitude 7.4 earthquake that struck Central Sulawesi province in September. The disasters claimed the lives of more than 2,600 people, injured some 18,000 people, and displaced more than 550,000.
Indonesia was hardest hit by an earthquake and tsunami that killed more than 225,000 people in 11 countries on 26 December 2004. ADB responded to the crisis by launching the largest grant program in its history, with about $900 million in approved assistance and cofinanced funds for tsunami-affected countries, of which 81% was grant funding.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.