Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
World bank convenes international meeting on Indonesia's humanitarian situation



Download PDFDownload PDF

M E D IA RELEASE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ALEXANDER DOWNER

AA21 25 March 1998

WORLD BANK CONVENES INTERNATIONAL MEETING ON INDONESIA’S HUMANITARIAN SITUATION

I am pleased to advise that, following my recent meeting in Washington with World Bank President James Wolfensohn, the World Bank has urgently convened a major international meeting on Indonesia’s humanitarian situation.

During my discussions with Mr Wolfensohn on 20 March, I highlighted my concern at the lack of international coordination in assisting Indonesia to overcome the serious humanitarian problems it faces. The combined effect of the economic crisis and the prolonged drought have given rise to a clear danger of major food security problems as food affordability decreases and crop harvests are reduced.

I was therefore pleased that Mr Wolfensohn agreed that the World Bank would coordinate the international relief effort and, as a key first step, would convene this meeting. In recognition of the significance of this meeting, Australia will be represented by the Director General of the Australian Agency for International Development, Mr Trevor Kanaley, Australia’s most senior aid official.

The meeting will be held on 1 April in Washington. Senior officials from Indonesia, 20 donor countries and 15 multilateral and regional organisations have been invited. The meeting will provide an opportunity to present assessments of the humanitarian impact of the current economic crisis and severe drought. Most importantly, the meeting will facilitate coordination of international humanitarian assistance for

Indonesia.

With regard to efforts to overcome the economic difficulties which underlie Indonesia’s humanitarian problems, I welcome recent indications from the Indonesian Government that it is taking firm steps to strengthen fiscal and monetary policy in line with the IMF program. These latest steps underscore the fact that Indonesia and the IMF are now working together constructively.

Australia has responded to Indonesia’s humanitarian situation with a substantial package of assistance to help Indonesia address its current food security problems. This includes a total o f $8.8 million for drought relief and employment creation assistance as well as approval of up to $380 million EFIC insurance cover for the balance of Australia’s wheat sales to Indonesia.

Media contact: Innes Willox (Minister’s Office) 02 6277 7500 / 0411 414 695

TOKYO

3787