UN chief heads to Indonesia's Bali and quake, tsunami-hit Palu

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-09 20:42:27|Editor: huaxia
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UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will depart for Indonesia on Monday for a series of high-level international meetings in Bali and a visit to the devastated Palu region where officials say more than 1,900 were killed by a recent earthquake and tsunami.

In Bali, Guterres will first attend the Leaders' Gathering of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and then the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group, said his spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

The secretary-general will meet with Indonesian President Joko Widodo and other ASEAN leaders and high-level officials attending the meetings, Dujarric said.

Topics on the table at the IMF and World Bank sessions are expected to include sustainable development, climate change and famine.

On Friday, Guterres will be joined by Jusuf Kalla, vice president of Indonesia, for a visit to Palu on Sulawesi Island, struck by an earthquake and a tsunami at the end of last month.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said here that the Indonesian government is reporting more than 1,900 people have been killed, more than 10,000 injured and more than 800 people are still missing following the earthquake and tsunami on Sulawesi.

"More than 62,000 people have been displaced, with many people having lost absolutely everything," OCHA said.

The spokesman said aid is now being delivered by air to Palu airport and that many roads in the area are now functional with improved access to outlying areas.

The government is leading the humanitarian response with support from national non-governmental organizations (NGOs), he said.

The United Nations, NGOs and the Red Cross are on the ground and are distributing newborn baby kits, maternity kits, educational supplies and other items, Dujarric said. They are also helping children who have been separated from their families.

The secretary-general, who is leaving here this evening, will be back in New York on Sunday, the spokesman said. Enditem