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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     21-22 November  2011

Paltry $3m ADB aid to help flood affected Thailand

According to a press release in Manila, PHILIPPINES, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing emergency assistance of $3 million to help Thailand get back on its feet in the wake of the country’s worst flooding in more than half a century.

“The scale and magnitude of the floods are immense and this grant will help Thailand address some of the most immediate, pressing needs,” said Craig Steffensen, ADB’s Country Director in Thailand.

The floods, sparked by heavy rains in August and September, have over 600 people dead and inundated homes, farmland and businesses, including parts of the capital Bangkok and surrounding districts. All affected provinces have been declared disaster areas and the country’s gross domestic product could decline by up to 2% as a result of the devastation.

ADB’s grant will support the provision of food, water, and other essential services to people who have been forced to flee their homes and others affected by the floods. It will be coordinated with assistance being provided by other development partners, including the United Nations, World Bank, European Union, Japan and the United States.

The grant is being provided from ADB’s Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund, which was established in 2009 to provide quick disbursing grants to help countries affected by natural calamities meet their immediate needs. It also helps bridge the gap ahead of longer term post-disaster reconstruction assistance and disaster risk reduction initiatives.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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