ASIA - Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Somalia: United Nations High Commission for Refugees steps up commitment in tsunami affected areas

Wednesday, 19 January 2005

Jakarta (Fides Service) - The United Nations High Commission for Refugees is intensifying its intervention in aid of tsunami victims in south east Asia.
In Indonesia aid operations continue in Aceh. On January 16 tents were distributed in the worst hit areas of Meulaboh, Calang, Banda Acehl more than 400 tons of aid was flown to Indonesia from UNHCR stores in Copenhagen and Dubai.
At present UNHCR is putting up ten person tents in Banda Aceh and Meulaboh as well as a temporary camp for about 1,000 homeless people in Meulaboh at the moment are in squalid conditions without water or sanitation.
UNHCR aims to help people have their own homes as soon as possible, therefore while providing relief aid it is also helping rebuilding. The Indonesian minister of Public Works asked UNHCR to help build 24 temporary homes centres in the region of Aceh for 30,000 people: il the programme has started.
Sri Lanka UNHCR assistant Kamel Morjane is visiting tsunami victims in the south east and north and also representatives of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Last week prefab for storage of non food aid were placed at Batticaloa, Ampara and Trincomale. Some 7,500 tents from UNHCR stores Amman are expected to arrive in Sri Lanka any day now. In Batticaloa UNHCR workers are talking with victims to assess their needs. Since the disaster struck on 26 December, UNHCR has distributed tends and non food aid for about 135,000 homeless people in Sri Lanka.
Somalia: a shipload of UNHCR food supplies and other necessities should reach the port of Bossasso, Puntland tomorrow 20 January. Two more ships from Mombasa, Kenya will deliver 32,500 blankets, 10,000 plastic sheets, 10,000 cans of water. UNHCR has sent international aid workers to distribute aid Puntland. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 19/01/2005 righe 36 parole 376)