Press Release: Statement by IMF Managing Director Rodrigo de Rato on South Asia Earthquake Disaster

December 26, 2004

Mr. Rodrigo de Rato, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), made the following statement today regarding a massive earthquake affecting seven nations in South Asia:

"The horrible events that have unfolded this weekend in South Asia cannot possibly be addressed through words alone—particularly for those nations most in need of humanitarian aid. As we approach the New Year and try to come to grips with the disaster in South Asia, let me first extend my deepest condolences to the people and governments of Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Thailand who have been so directly affected by the loss of lives.

"Rapid action by the international community will help these nations cope, and it is my intention to provide whatever possible assistance the IMF can to help South Asia deal with the aftermath of this weekend's earthquake and floods. Each nation in South Asia will have its own specific needs. The IMF stands ready to do its part to assist these nations with appropriate support in their time of need.1

"I have instructed the Director of the Fund's Asia and Pacific Department, along with country representatives in the region, to establish immediate contact with the authorities. I will also be in contact with national and regional leaders to offer our support."

1 Bangladesh has a Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility arrangement in place since June 2003 (see Press Releases No. 04/161 and No. 03/92). Sri Lanka entered into PRGF and Extended Fund Facility arrangements in April 2003 (see Press Release No. 03/54) but has not yet completed the first review of those arrangements.


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