Indonesia: The Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency for Aceh and Nias makes progress

More than US$1.2 billion in Reconstruction Projects Already Approved
BANDA ACEH, May 18, 2005 -- Nineteen days after the establishment of the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Executing Agency (BRR) for Aceh and Nias it has approved more than US$1.2 billion in reconstruction projects.

"We are making progress. More than US$1.2 billion in reconstruction projects approved in less than three weeks shows how much BRR was needed to get the reconstruction of Aceh and Nias off the ground," said the director of BRR, Kuntoro Mangkusubroto.

Since the BRR was established on April 29, 2005 it has approved a number of projects with a total value of more than US$1.2 billion. The agency is fast-tracking a number of key projects in housing and community services, including schools and hospitals, to meet fundamental needs.

On May 15, BRR signed a letter of agreement for the construction of 1,500 houses in the West Aceh district and 500 houses in Aceh Singkil. The US$25 million project also includes the construction of local schools and will be managed by CARITAS of Switzerland and funded by the Swiss Solidarity Chain.

On May 13, Kuntoro and the Chairman of the Indonesian Red Cross, Mar'ie Muhammad, signed a MoU for rehabilitation and reconstruction programs in Aceh and Nias totaling US$600 million. It includes the construction of 20,000 permanent houses in the Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD) province and 2,500 houses in Nias, 110 community clinics, 110 public and religious schools in NAD and 20 public schools in Nias, 110 Meunasah, 7 children's boarding houses, livelihood assistance to 25,000 families, reconstruction of a barge pier in Meulaboh, and planting of mangrove plantations.

On May 10, the Steering Committee of the Multi-Donor Trust Fund for Aceh and North Sumatra, of which Kuntoro is the co-chair, approved four project concepts with a total value of US$250 million. It includes a two-year program for the construction of 20,000 new houses, rehabilitation of 30,000 damaged houses, full restoration of community infrastructure in 200 kecamatan (up to 3,000 villages), recapitalization of up to 6000 micro-enterprises, construction of roads and bridges, schools, water supply and sanitation, community buildings, and drainage.

On May 8, USAID and the Government of Indonesia signed a MoU for the reconstruction of the Banda Aceh to Meulaboh road. The project is valued at US$245 million. The road, approximately 240 kilometers long, is the economic backbone of the region and connects Aceh Province with the rest of North Sumatra and Indonesia.

The BRR has also approved a US$75 million housing project from the Asian Development Bank, and a US$30 million fiber optic cables project where Intel

Corporation, Global Marine System Limited (GMSL), Asiasa, Cisco, and British Airways will be partnering with the AirPutih Foundation (Yayasan AirPutih), an Indonesian information technology NGO.

About the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency for Aceh and Nias

The Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency for Aceh and Nias was established on April 16, 2005. It consists of an Executing Agency and two independent oversight boards, that all report directly to the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Dr. Kuntoro Mangkusubroto has been appointed as the Director of BRR's Executing Agency. BRR's principal office is located in Banda Aceh, the capital of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD) Province, with a branch office in Nias and a representative office in Jakarta.

The mission of BRR is to coordinate the ongoing reconstruction efforts, and to match donor funds with specific community needs in Aceh and Nias through a process that is rigorous, sensitive to local concerns and priorities, and well-monitored. Throughout its four-year mandate, BRR will put a special emphasis on capacity-building so local communities can continue the development of Aceh and Nias.

For further information please contact:

Issued by:

Indo Pacific
Reputation Management Consultants
Arnfinn Jacobsen
Hp: 0813 1729 8896
Laura Worsley-Brown
Hp: 0818 149 847 (Jakarta) / 0813 6020 5317 (Aceh)
Tel: (62-21) 781-2436
Fax: (62-21) 781-2423

For and on behalf of:

Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency
(BRR -- Badan Rehabilitasi dan Rekonstruksi) for Aceh and Nias
Hp: 0813 1022 8414