An Initial Assessment of the Impact of the Earthquake and Tsunami of December 26, 2004 on South and Southeast Asia

This paper assesses the overall impact of the earthquake in the Indian Ocean and the subsequent tsunami based on information available until January 10, 2005. It analyzes the economic implications of the physical damage of the disaster, considers the economic impact in relationship to previous natural disasters, and summarizes the international assistance contributed. The ADB concludes that though the macroeconomic impact of the tsunami will be slight, the poverty impacts may be substantial as it puts nearly 2 million people at risk of becoming deeply impoverished. It also predicts that the recent improvements in areas including fiscal discipline and availability of institutions will help Asia recover.

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