Indonesia to double disaster relief budget in 2019 after year of tragedies
By Kanupriya Kapoor
Indonesia will more than double its disaster response budget to 15 trillion rupiah ($1.06 billion) in 2019, officials said on Tuesday, after a series of major natural disasters devastated three regions of the vast archipelago last year.
The Southeast Asian country suffered its deadliest year in over a decade in 2018, when over 3,000 people died in tsunamis and earthquakes in Sulawesi, Lombok, and West Java and Sumatra islands.
Five trillion rupiah would be allocated to rehabilitation and reconstruction, while 10 trillion would be reserved for disaster response, said finance ministry spokesman Nufransa Wira Sakti.
President Joko Widodo, who is running for re-election in April, said on Monday more money will be channelled toward disaster education and response.
Last year, the finance ministry said it planned to launch a new strategy in 2019 to fund disaster recovery, which could include selling "catastrophe bonds". The central government would insure state assets against disaster and then create a disaster risk financing instrument for affected regions to draw upon.