Improvements seen four years after the Indian Ocean tsunami

December 26th, 2008 - 2:30 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Dec 26 (ANI): Humanitarian groups have said that four years since the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami that left a trail of destruction, leaving more than 230,000 people dead, improvements can now be seen in many of the devastated areas.

Hundreds of thousands were left homeless and jobless after the tsunami, and poor and isolated communities were left even worse off.

Today, new schools have been constructed, and armies of workers - many of them volunteers - have cleared and rebuilt homes and towns, and helped get people back to work.

The tsunami, despite being a horrific event, also provided a lot of opportunities for those countries, said Jonathan Cauldwell, chief of UNICEFs Tsunami Transition Support.

It brought a peace dividend within Banda Aceh (Indonesia) where you still see peace in an area which had long term localized conflict in place. It allowed those areas to be built up as well, to have investments in the infrastructure in the social sectors, he added.

According to a CNN report, agencies such as UNICEF said that while the immediate emergency was over, they remain committed to improving the lives of millions of children across the region.

Oxfam International, which said it will close its response to the tsunami at the end of December, said it has provided housing to tsunami survivors in Aceh, helped restore the livelihoods of people in India and Sri Lanka, and funded the reconstruction of eight tsunami-affected secondary schools.

The money we received allowed us not only to help meet the immediate emergency needs of tsunami-affected populations, but also to try to address the factors that made them vulnerable: not least poverty and a lack of influence over their own lives, Barbara Stocking, chair of the Oxfam International Tsunami Fund Board, said in a statement.

What has been achieved is astounding. Hundreds of thousands of people are now living in better conditions than they were in before the tsunami, she added.

According to UNICEF officials, the basic needs of children affected by the tsunami have been met.

More children are going to school as a result of improved facilities, and better nutrition, post-natal care and other life-saving interventions are helping those countries worst hit transition to developing regular services and programs, they added. (ANI)

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