MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide $1 million to support emergency relief efforts in Samoa, following last week's devastating tsunami which left close to 170 people dead and thousands homeless.

The funds will be used to supply a wide variety of essential needs to people affected by the disaster, and will include items such as food, clean water, clothing and medical supplies.

"The ADB is committed to helping the people of Samoa through this very difficult and painful time," said Sultan Hafeez Rahman, Director General of ADB's Pacific Department. "We will work closely with the Government of Samoa and our development partners to offer timely and coordinated emergency assistance to those affected."

Almost 20% of Samoa's population of 181,000 is believed to have been affected by the tsunami and subsequent flooding, which was triggered by a massive 8.0-magnitude undersea earthquake.

"ADB is closely monitoring the situation on the ground and, in consultation with the Government of Samoa as well as other donors, will soon participate in a needs assessment mission to the affected areas," said Keith Leonard, Regional Director of ADB's South Pacific Subregional Office.

The $1 million contribution to Samoa is tapped from ADB's recently established Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund (APDRF), which provides quick disbursing grants to ADB member countries affected by natural disasters.

ADB has maintained a long and active presence in Samoa, providing a range of development assistance in the form of loans, grants and technical assistance. The island-nation joined ADB at the bank's founding in 1966.