Visit of the Head of Assistance Program to Nias from the NZ Embassy 25-26 January 2012


The New Zealand Embassy - Jakarta, Indonesia head of aid programme Kirk Yates joined a World Bank field visit to palau Nias in North Sumatra on 25-26 January to review various projects we have supported there following the dreadful earthquake and tsunami of 2004/5. New Zealand disbursed over NZ$20 million to disaster relief work in Indonesia from 2004 to 2009 following that event and the Yogya earthquake. This is the largest humanitarian assistance ever committed by New Zealand worldwide. NZ$12m of that went through the Multidonor Trust Fund for Reconstruction of Nias & Aceh (MDF).

New Zealand is one of 15 donors to support the MDF. Seven years on and the MDF has contributed 28% to the total reconstruction and recovery budget for Nias. The emphasis now is on transition: Livelihoods projects to stimulate economic development and food security in the key food crops at the local level and transferring key assets over to Provincial and Kabupaten administrations although more predominantly to communities, including responsibility for the 565 kilometres of roads and trails, the 61 vehicle and footbridges, 234 wells and 57km of water supply systems and the seaport wharf; plus 4,491 houses, 118 schools, 110 village halls and 13 village markets constructed.

There was a significant investment to ensure some of the unique and beautiful cultural heritage icons of Nias were not lost with restoration of 104 heritage/megalith sites and the Gunungsitoli Museum . Nothing beats seeing with your own eyes what communities have rebuilt themselves. I was impressed with the quality of the workmanship, the resolve of Nias peoples and felt privileged that some of New Zealand ’s contributions could play a part in their remarkable recovery achievements. The total MDF commitment to Nias was more than US$115m from 14 of the total 23 MDF projects in Nias/Aceh. Thanks and Ya'ahowu (the Nias word for bless you) to the World Bank MDF Secretariat, ILO and UNDP for facilitating this experience.