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Indonesia/Sri Lanka: ICRC plans for rest of 2005

22-04-2005 News Release 05/22

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has finalized its plans for continued aid to victims of the tsunami and earthquake in Indonesia's Aceh province and Sri Lanka in the remainder of 2005. Though it will continue disaster-related work throughout the recovery process, the ICRC's basic role in the two countries is to carry out humanitarian work necessitated by conflict.

The ICRC is refocusing on conflict-related activities such as visiting detainees and teaching international humanitarian law to bearers of weapons. However, for the rest of 2005 it will go on endeavouring to bridge the gap until reconstruction begins producing results. " Most tsunami survivors still live in difficult conditions " , says Reto Meister, the organization's delegate-general for Asia and the Pacific. " Many of them have lost everything and they still depend on humanitarian aid to rebuild their lives. "

Examples of continued aid include extensive support for health-care services; delivering reconstruction kits, tools and cleaning materials so that tsunami survivors can repair their homes; providing families with materials or cash vouchers to replace or repair fishing equipment; ensuring supplies of clean water by supporting water boards in urban areas, delivering safe water by truck and cleaning wells; restoring and maintaining family links; working closely with the Indonesian and Sri Lankan Red Cross Societies and supporting their programmes for tsunami victims.

The ICRC facilitates and coordinates action by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in areas affected by conflict. In Indonesia and Sri Lanka it is doing this as part of the Movement's strategy to respond to the tsunami as set out by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Meanwhile, other partners of the Movement are launching longer-term rehabilitation and reconstruction projects.

The additional work to help tsunami victims meant that ICRC budgets for Sri Lanka and Indonesia had increased three- and four-fold respectively over tho se drawn up before the December tsunamis, Meister explained.

For Sri Lanka in 2005, the organization originally appealed to donors for 10.8 million Swiss francs. On 3 January 2005, a week after the tsunami, an initial budget extension of 7.9 million francs was added. A recent extension of 14.7 million   brings the 2005 budget for operations in Sri Lanka to a total of 33.3 million francs.

For Indonesia, the ICRC originally appealed to donors late last year for nine million francs for its work in 2005. At the beginning of this year an initial budget extension of 17.7 million francs was added. A recent extension

of 12.2 million   brings the 2005 budget for operations in Indonesia to 38.9 million francs.

Since December 2004, the ICRC has received over 87 million francs for its work in Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

Given the generous donations received, the ICRC has informed its donors that it is not seeking further funds for Indonesia and Sri Lanka, but urges them to contribute to other operations worldwide, the funding needs for which are set out in the ICRC's 2005 Emergency Appeals.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Vincent Lusser, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 22 730 24 26 or +41 79 217 32 64  

 Marçal Izard, ICRC Colombo, tel. +9411 250 33 46/7 or +94 777 28 96 82  

 Pasqual Jéquier, ICRC Jakarta, tel. + 62 21 720 72 52