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Update 12 on the humanitarian activities of Red Cross and Red Crescent in response to the Asia quake and tsunamis disaster

Friday February 18, 2005

As weeks turn to months, the Red Cross and Red Crescent continue to work with the tsunami-affected communities across seven countries in the Bay of Bengal.

The massive relief operation - the largest in living memory - shows no sign of abating. At least 10,000 local Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers continue to toil in the heat and humidity, dirt and grime to get aid to the most vulnerable in the worst affected areas, including - Aceh Province and north and east of Sri Lanka.

The global Red Cross and Red Crescent network, including 23 aid workers from Australia - 9 of whom have already completed their missions - have joined the humanitarian relief operation to deliver thousands of tonnes of aid such as food and tarpaulins for shelter as well as millions of litres of clean drinking water to thousands of vulnerable people.

In total nearly 500 international Red Cross and Red Crescent aid workers from as far a field as Britain and Austria, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates have mobilised to assist in the relief effort. Together they will work for as long as it takes to ensure the people whose lives were shattered can once again live with dignity.

Here in Australia, Red Cross has raised over $96 million, of which $24 million has gone to support the emergency phase of the operation.

Australian Red Cross will maintain a presence for at least the next ten-years in the worst affected regions of Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
Key Red Cross & Red Crescent highlights of the last two weeks:

  • Nearly 138,000 people in five of the worst affected regions of Aceh Province received food and non-food items such as blankets, tarpaulins as well as family and hygiene kits
  • Every day 41,300 people in Aceh Province have access to Red Cross clean water
  • The Red Cross has undertaken to construct 15,000 new houses in Sri Lanka

Highlights of selected Red Cross and Red Crescent activities as at 16 February 2005


  • A total of 345,100 people have received food relief from the Red Cross in Aceh Province
  • A total of 92,180 people have received items such as family kits as well as hygiene kits, blankets, tarpaulins and mosquito nets in Aceh Province. Family kits include items to set up a temporary household, such as kitchen sets, a water container and a lantern
  • 43,985 bodies recovered by Indonesian Red Cross volunteers
  • 1,863 family links have been successfully restored mainly through satellite phones as well as reuniting children with their families
  • In Kueh, Lhokgna, Lampuk and Lamlhom the Red Cross has provided relief to some 15,000 people in 20 camps
  • Some 117,200 people have received non-food relief goods from the Red Cross since the beginning of the operation
  • A total of 77,600 patients have been treated by Red Cross medical clinics and hospitals across Aceh Province
  • Water supplies in 21 schools have been rehabilitated by the Red Cross in Meulaboh
  • 20,000 people in 21 camps have access to clean Red Cross water along the east coast between Sigli and Samalanga


  • The Red Cross has agreed to repair 32 health facilities across the affected areas including one hospital in each tsunami devastated district
  • 42,800 people have access to clean water as well as sanitation facilities
  • Red Cross distributes over 8,000 tarpaulins - including 455 tents - to families in Pottuvil, bringing the total number of families assisted with temporary accommodation in eastern Ampara district to over 5,000
  • In the south, over 26,600 tarpaulins have been distributed
  • 141,946 people in Ampara, Galle, Hambantota and Matara have received non-food item support
  • Red Cross delivers 30,000 family kits as well as 10,000 pieces of clothing to welfare centres in the north and east of the country
  • 7,000 people have been treated by a Red Cross hospital as well as medical clinics across the tsunami-affected districts


  • The relief and rescue operation is nearing completion
  • In and around Port Blair - capital of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, the Red Cross is producing 100,000 litres of clean drinking water daily; enough to support 1,300 people


  • 1,300 new homes will be built by Red Cross
  • 1,430 sheets of Red Cross corrugated iron have been used in the construction of six temporary shelters for some 70 families
  • The Red Cross continues to generate electricity for 16,036 people


  • 2,000 families continue to be housed by the Red Cross


  • In the six affected provinces in the south of the country nearly 1,500 Red Cross volunteers have supported some 34,460 people with relief supplies including both food and non-food items