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28 February 2005

United States Adds $10 Million to Aceh Tsunami-Relief Efforts

Funds intended to help displaced people re-establish their livelihoods

The U.S. government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing an additional $10 million for reconstruction in Aceh, Indonesia, which was devastated by the Indian Ocean tsunami.

In a February 25 news release, the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta announced that the additional funding will "reintegrate displaced people back to their communities and support the re-establishment of livelihoods. This includes entrepreneurial, small business and other income generating activities to revitalize local economies."

USAID Mission Director William M. Frej, quoted in the release, said,  "The U.S. Government's reconstruction activities will foster smooth transition from relief to long-term recovery, and rehabilitate critical large and small infrastructure projects in order to restore basic services, such as health and education. Activities will revitalize economic livelihoods and foster the return of people to revived communities."

Following is the text of the press release:

(begin text)

U.S. EMBASSY
PRESS RELEASE
PUBLIC AFFAIRS SECTION
USAID Moves Additional Assistance for Aceh

February 25, 2005

Continuing its support of tsunami-affected communities, the U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing an additional $10 million for development and reconstruction projects.

The additional funding will reintegrate displaced people back to their communities and support the re-establishment of livelihoods. This includes entrepreneurial, small business and other income generating activities to revitalize local economies. Funds will rehabilitate small-scale infrastructure, such as roads, schools, clinics, and key local government facilities, and help restore core local governance capacity and services. Health, hygiene, water and sanitation will remain a priority, particularly in under-served areas. USAID will conduct an assessment of the coastal environment to respond to the needs of coastal communities.

The additional $10 million will increase the total assistance provided by the U.S. Government to Indonesia to more than $52.1 million. President Bush is seeking a total of $950 million in aid to tsunami-affected countries for reconstruction of infrastructure, to help victims transition back to their communities, for early warning and disaster mitigation efforts, for good governance and technical assistance.

The U.S. Government, through USAID, will provide additional grant assistance to support the people of Aceh and North Sumatra as they rebuild. According to William M. Frej, USAID Mission Director, "The U.S. Government's reconstruction activities will foster smooth transition from relief to long-term recovery, and rehabilitate critical large and small infrastructure projects in order to restore basic services, such as health and education. Activities will revitalize economic livelihoods and foster the return of people to revived communities." Priorities under review include: 1) infrastructure prioritized by these communities, in addition to large signature infrastructure; 2) shelter; 3) early warning/disaster mitigation; 4) good governance and administration; 5) restoration of livelihoods.

For more information on USAID activities, please contact Betina Moreira at 3435-9424 or bmoreira@usaid.gov

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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