MANILA, PHILIPPINES (24 January 2005) - ADB Vice-President Liqun Jin will visit tsunami-affected areas of the Maldives and meet senior government officials during a two-day visit from 25 to 26 January 2005.

Mr. Jin will discuss with the government ADB's proposed emergency assistance, which will consist largely of new funding and will include grants from ADB's Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction.

ADB is expected to be involved in the water supply and sanitation, housing, transport and communication, and power sectors.

Mr. Jin will be accompanied by Richard Vokes, a Director of ADB's South Asia Department. Mr. Vokes, who recently returned from visiting the Maldives, said: "Although the Maldives suffered relatively less than other countries in fatalities, the impact has been devastating in some of the outer islands. The economy has taken a major hit in the key sectors of fisheries and tourism. Agriculture, too, has been affected and there is a long-term problem of soil salination."

The Maldives consists of some 1,200 low-lying islands - 200 of them inhabited - in the Indian Ocean.

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