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Tsunami: Helping people work again

Tsunami: Helping people work again

Wed, 16 Feb 2005

Families from across Asia are slowly rebuilding their lives after December's devastating tsunami, as aid agencies move from relief into development work.

World Vision's CEO Helen Green says $4.2 million has now been raised and the focus for aid teams in Asia is still on providing housing, water and sanitation to the thousands of families in need.

"But we are now entering the recovery phase to help people get back on their feet towards self-sufficiency," says Mrs Green, who said she wanted to extend her thanks to New Zealanders for their generosity in giving, and to assure them their money was making a long-term difference.

"We're in these countries for the long haul because we know it will take a long time for people to rebuild their lives after such a traumatic and devastating disaster," she says.

Current work underway includes:

Indonesia: World Vision has so far distributed food, water, and items such as cooking utensils, hygiene sets and gardening equipment to 27,000 people. Medical supplies and pharmaceuticals have been supplied to local hospitals and temporary housing has been provided for about 8,000 people. Over the next few weeks, 5,000 families will receive tools to help them start to earn a living again and World Vision will also organise a community clean-up cash-for-work project, to help with rebuilding.

Sri Lanka: World Vision has distributed food and other essential items to 276,000 people in Sri Lanka. Over the next month, the agency will be distributing items such as tents, cooking equipment and blankets to people living in displacement camps. World Vision is also involved in constructing toilets and establishing clean supplies of water. Longer term, the focus is on rebuilding schools and other damaged infrastructure, and starting recovery programmes to support people as they re-start businesses to earn money again.

India: Relief packs have been distributed to 42,000 families since the tsunami struck and hygiene kits, educational materials and other goods to 20,000 families. Temporary shelters have been provided for 7,000 families. World Vision will also be providing financial grants for about 450 small business and community-based initiatives, and will provide motorboats and fishing nets for around 1,000 families.

Thailand: 2,000 survival kits have been distributed and 220 temporary shelters have been supplied to families. Plans are underway to rebuild some of the 800 schools destroyed by the tsunami.

To donate to World Vision's ongoing development work, go to www.worldvision.org.nz or call 0800 80 2000.

ENDS

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