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No Tsunami Funds Stockpiled for Future Disasters

TEAR Fund New Zealand Press Release

For Immediate Release: 21/12/05

No Tsunami Funds Stockpiled for Future Disasters

While questions concerning the use of funds donated for victims of the tsunami should be raised, money donated to TEAR Fund's tsunami relief appeal has not been 'stockpiled' for future natural disasters, says the aid agency.

TEAR Fund says the $3 million raised by its tsunami appeal, including government funds, is being used effectively to pursue rehabilitation projects in Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka.

"It is important the public are able to rest assured no money has been misappropriated or diverted for other concerns. To do so under New Zealand law is illegal," says TEAR Fund Executive Director Stephen Tollestrup.

The agency says there is no surplus of funds from the immediate emergency relief stage of its tsunami response. TEAR Fund is currently focusing on reestablishing livelihoods in affected areas of India and Sri Lanka. Microenterprise loans are being used to create small businesses and income opportunities in devastated communities.

"Major relief efforts, such as that following the tsunami, must incorporate a long range and staged management strategy. It means the difference between the 'band-aid' approach, and in depth community recovery."

"It is essential aid agencies be transparent and held up for public scrutiny during the rebuilding process, however, it is also important we do not unnecessarily undermine donor confidence and generosity in the face of current disasters like the Kashmir earthquake."

ENDS


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