Indonesia to double disaster response budget

8 Jan 19

Indonesia will more than double its disaster response budget to 15 trillion rupiah ($1.06bn) this year after a series of major natural disasters in 2018, officials have said.

In 2018, the country suffered its deadliest year in over a decade when more than 3,000 people died in tsunamis and earthquakes.

The southeast Asian country is frequently hit by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its geographical position on the Pacific Ring of Fire. It is also struggling with localised incidents such as landslides, floods and forest fires.

Askolani, budgeting director general at the Indonesian finance ministry, said: “The funds have been prepared in anticipation of 2019.”

Five trillion rupiah would be given to rehabilitation and reconstruction, while 10 trillion would be allocated for disaster response, a finance ministry spokesperson said.

Reuters reported that Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo said more money would be channelled towards disaster education and response.

Speaking on 7 January during the first cabinet meeting of the year, he said: “Given our disaster-prone geographic conditions, we must be prepared, responsive, alert and resilient in facing any natural disaster.”

The president also called for disaster preparedness to be part of the national school curriculum and for a renewed countrywide early tsunami warning system.

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