Tuesday May 10, 2005
Constructing 22,000 homes, hundreds of schools and health facilities plus upgrading water and sanitation systems are just some of the ways the global Red Cross and Red Crescent plans to spend $1.5 billion from its tsunami budget between now and 2010.
The announcement came this week as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (Federation) unveiled its plan of action reflecting consultations with relevant authorities, UN agencies and crucially the affected communities themselves.
Australian Red Cross, which has raised $105 million for its Asia Quake & Tsunami Appeal, has so far contributed $24 million to the international aid effort of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. This and other contributions has so far enabled Red Cross to reach more than 840,000 affected people with vital aid and support, including food, medical assistance, safe water, shelter and clothing. And by the end of 2005 alone, Red Cross will have directly reached over one million affected in the region - a remarkable effort by any measure.
But looking to the future Red Cross, through its plan of action, seeks to put in place sustainable solutions that meet the real needs of the tsunami-affected communities in each country and look to empower people to protect themselves in this, one of the world's most disaster-prone regions.
'The real task of long-term recovery and rebuilding shattered lives and communities is still ahead of us. This is a true challenge for many aid agencies such as Red Cross,' said Robert Tickner, Chief Executive Officer of Australian Red Cross.
'The remaining funds raised here in Australia by the Australian community are being used to deliver long-term programs. We will be helping build houses, schools and medical facilities in Indonesia and in Sri Lanka hospitals will be rebuilt and livelihood support programs set up,' added Mr Tickner.
Since the disaster struck, more than 22,000 Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers have been assisting those affected by the tsunamis. According to official figures, the tsunamis left more than 176,000 people confirmed dead. Some 50,000 people are still missing and millions more displaced, have been made homeless and left without their livelihood.