IMF-WB – WB suggests Indonesia should increase mitigation budget

Nusa Dua, Bali, (ANTARA News) - World Bank President Director Kristalina Georgiva has suggested the Indonesian government should increase the state budget for disaster mitigation given the countrys geographical conditions; it is located in the ring of fire and on three earth crust boundaries.

"Our suggestion is to add more of a budget toward disaster preparedness and prevention programs, and for rehabilitation and reconstruction after disasters. Prevention is better than healing," Georgiva said after making a courtesy call to Vice President Jusuf Kalla in Nusa Dua, Bali, Wednesday.

She asserted that the additional budget for disaster mitigation would not result in a loss for the state budget.

In fact, the additional budget for disaster mitigation can save more lives and public facilities in areas affected by disasters, Georgiva said.

"Every dollar you invest in disaster prevention can save 4 to 7 dollars of damage," she noted.

On the other hand, the additional budget for disaster mitigation can be allocated to provide educational services to people in disaster-prone areas, especially in improving their awareness over natural disasters.

In addition, the government can also rebuild areas affected by disasters, such as in Lombok and Palu, with stronger structures.

"What we can learn from this experience is that we should improve construction standards while building, and ensure that people have a disaster risk management mindset," she said.

Meanwhile, at a dialogue on Disaster Financing and Insurance, Vice President Jusuf Kalla stated that Indonesia opened up opportunities for international cooperation with the IMF and the World Bank to set up a disaster insurance scheme in Indonesia.

In the presence of World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, the vice president said disaster insurance was an option, considering the Indonesian government always relied on the state budget to finance post-disaster rehabilitation and reconstruction programs.

"We are talking about disaster management risks and fiscal risks and how to solve them. One of the solutions is disaster insurance," the vice president said.

Source: ANTARA News

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