Damian Milverton (202) 473-6735
Dale Lautenbach (202) 473-3405
TOKYO Monday October 10 - World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz expressed his deep condolences to the people of Afghanistan, India and Pakistan struck by a huge earthquake Saturday. The Bank has committed an initial $20 million for recovery in Pakistan and committed the institution to further assistance as the needs became clearer.
"An earthquake of this magnitude will sadly cause great loss even as we don't yet have a full picture of the damage," said Wolfowitz. "The Bank stands ready to help as it can, based on its experience of disasters around the world. What we do know is that one of the most important aspects of disaster response is collaboration and cooperation among all those who step forward to help. I urge my colleagues in the international community to work as one as we help these countries now."
Wolfowitz said that, as in all disasters, the greatest challenge was to help people get back to normal as fast as possible. In previous disasters like the Indian Ocean tsunami of last year and the Gujarat earthquake of 2001, the Bank had worked with partners like the Asian Development Bank and the United Nations system to deliver damage and needs assessments as rapidly as possible, followed by cash grants to help people rebuild homes and get local economies going.