Statement by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on her Visit to Lombok, Indonesia, October 8, 2018
Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), visited the island of Lombok in Indonesia’s West Nusa Tenggara Province today along with Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Bank Indonesia Governor Perry Warjiyo, and West Nusa Tenggara Governor Zulkieflimansyah. During her visit, Ms. Lagarde made the following statement:
“It is my great privilege to be with the people of Lombok today and I would like to thank you for your great hospitality. All of us at the IMF are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life and devastation caused by the recent natural disasters in both Lombok and Sulawesi. Our hearts go out to the survivors, to those who have lost loved ones, and to all the people of Indonesia.
“Three years ago, when we decided to organize our 2018 Annual Meetings here in Indonesia, we did not know that the country would be hit by these terrible natural disasters. What we did know was that Indonesia would be the best place to hold our Annual Meetings. And Indonesia remains the best place!
“So, at the IMF we asked ourselves how we could help Indonesia in the face of these natural disasters? First, canceling the Meetings was not an option because that would be a tremendous waste of the resources that had been committed over the last three years and lose the great opportunity to showcase Indonesia to the world and to create opportunities and jobs. Second, an IMF loan was not an option because the Indonesian economy does not need it: it is being very well managed by President Jokowi, Governor Perry, Minister Sri Mulyani and Minister Luhut and their colleagues.
“And so, as a symbol of our solidarity with the Indonesian people, IMF staff—supported by management—decided to personally and voluntarily make a contribution to the recovery efforts. Today that contribution stands at 2 billion Rupiah and it will go to a range of relief efforts in Lombok and Sulawesi—with more to come. We have also launched an appeal for participants at the Annual Meetings so that they too can contribute.
“Two days ago, the Secretary of the IMF, Jianhai Lin, accompanied Minister Luhut on a visit to Palu in Sulawesi to see the situation for himself and on behalf of the IMF. We are now going to go ahead with our Annual Meetings, but with what we have seen in Palu and in Lombok today very much in our minds.
“Once again, I am so impressed with the reconstruction work you are doing, and to see that the children are going back to school—because these girls and boys will be the scientists and experts of tomorrow!
“I made a promise to Governor Zulkieflimansyah that I will come back to Lombok one day, and I am sure that when I do, I will be even more impressed with the changes and the reconstruction that you will have accomplished.