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Main points of donors' statement on aid

Agence France Presse - July 30, 1998

Paris – Here are the main points of the statement issued by the World Bank after some 30 donor countries and international organisations agreed here on Thursday to provide 7.9 billion dollars to Indonesia:

"Indonesia's international donors today pledged to back the Jakarta government's commitment to extensive reform with 7.9 billion US dollars in disbursements for the Indonesian fiscal year 1998/99, a significant increase over last year's sum.

"This amount, together with exceptional financing of more than six billion US dollars that has already been arranged, matches what is required to fill the 1998/99 budget gap identified in the Indonesian economic program."

Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Economy, Finance, and Development, Dr. Ginandjar Kartasasmita, said "that his government was 'very serious' about achieving economic reform and sound governance as well as being intent on providing urgent social safety assistance for the poor.

"'We are racing against time to meet the needs of the people,' he told the meeting, stressing that Indonesia was striving to become the world's third biggest democracy while putting its economy in order.

"Donors joined the Indonesian government in underlining the need for better governance and increased monitoring to create a new climate of openness and transparency. The government also committed itself to the full involvement of civil society in implementing social programs at a time of urgent humanitarian need."

The managing director of the World Bank, Sven Sandstrom, said that "an enduring commitment to the reforms on which the government has embarked is required to sustain international support and produce, in time, the recovery we all desire."

Broad agreement was reached in five key areas:

  • Concern to see speedy and effective implementation of reforms and a restoration of confidence within and outside Indonesia, including that of private investors.
  • Recognition of the complexity of Indonesia's situation, with widespread readiness to help and a desire to work with the government in a flexible manner so as to achieve the best possible design and targeting of assistance.
  • Urgent need for improved quality of information on the state of the economy and the country's growing social crisis, to strengthen coordination and management of assistance and make the best use of resources.
  • The need for greater stress on good governance, including equal protection for all citizens, transparency of information and elimination of corruption.
  • The need for full participation of civil society in implementing policy reforms and social programs.
  • Delegates said "a strong working partnership had developed to meet the challenges Indonesia faces". They said: "Donors agreed to meet again next year and reserved the option of holding an interim meeting in six months to review specific elements of government reforms and donor assistance, if circumstances warranted it."