Jakarta (Fides Service) - The United Nations High Commission for Refugees UNHCR continues to assist victims of the December 26 tsunami in south east Asian countries. At present UNHCR is providing emergency lodging and basic necessities to people in isolated areas but preparations for rebuilding of whole villages are also underway.
In the province of Aceh Swiss helicopters transported aid to the small village of Keude Panga situated 20 km south of Calang where an estimated 2,000 homeless people need assistance. Since the village was excluded from assistance from operative bases in Calang and Meulaboh due to destroyed bridges and roads UNHCR used an air lift to transport 8 tonnes of tents, blankets, cooking utensils and mattresses.
In Krueng Sabe fishing village 8 km from Calang, in collaboration with local Indonesian agencies UNHCR is involved in a programme of assistance and rebuilding. About 50% of the people of Krueng Sabe were killed in the disaster, and some 4,000 were left homeless. Nevertheless these fisherfolk are determined to start life again in the same place.
Also on the west coast at Meulaboh UNHCR is helping to enlarge a camp set up in Lehan, to accommodate 112 families.
In Sri Lanka UNHCR is working with local authorities to provide 2,000 tents for groups of people considered the most vulnerable and for those leaving emergency shelters in schools and other public buildings.
UNHCR continues to asses specific needs and preference with regard to transfer and resettling of the homeless. It has undertaken a ten day survey to collect information regarding more than 300 families in the provinces of Ampare in the east, Galle in the south and Jaffna in the north to enable the international community to collaborate with the Sri Lankan government with regard to decisions for transfer and resettling of the homeless in agreement with UN principles with regard to displaced persons.(PA) (Agenzia Fides 7/2/2005 righe 28 parole 326)