Following the earthquake under the Indian Ocean and the resulting tsunami that affected countries throughout the region, Mr. Wolfensohn and the Bank moved quickly to commit initial assistance and to marshal the institution's expertise in post-disaster recovery.
Agreements on Rebuilding—During visits to the Sumatran provence of Aceh, the district of Hambantota in Sri Lanka and the Meemu Atol of the Maldives, Mr. Wolfensohn outlined projects to rebuild communities and physical infrastructure, using resources from existing projects and new funds. Press conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka
|A Better Future—Urgent aid is important, Mr. Wolfensohn said in his speech to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, but he also called for recovery programs that will "break the cycle of poverty."|
|Initial Support—The Bank committed US$250 Million to cover six months of assistance while further needs are identified.|
Many Levels of Response—Bank staff are working with governments in the region to assess urgent needs and plan for long-term assistance.
|Statement of Support—Following first reports of the disaster, Mr. Wolfensohn contacted national leaders to express the condolences and support of the Bank.|