Aceh: Commission reconstruction activities post-Tsunami
Brussels, 9 September 2005 - The European Commission is keeping its promises on the long-term reconstruction of the Indonesia's Aceh province following the Tsunami. After a first payment of €30 million last July, it has now approved a further contribution of €38 million out of the €207 million pledged for Indonesia. To coordinate the EU reconstruction activities, the Commission is establishing within the next days the "Europe House" in Banda Aceh. Most of the Commission funds to the region are channelled through the Multi-Donor Trust Fund for the post-Tsunami reconstruction.
Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner said: "We are among the swiftest donors working with the Government of Indonesia to deliver reconstruction aid to Aceh. Our priority for assistance is to get those who lost their houses back to their homes and normal lives."
Funds released now will support repair and construction of housing, building up of basic public infrastructure and services, as well as restarting economic activities and securing the livelihoods of affected people. They will also go towards strengthening the capacity of the new Reconstruction Agency and local government in Aceh. This will contribute to better implementation of projects and should also facilitate later arrangements for self-government in Aceh, following the peace agreement that has now been reached on 15 August between the Indonesian Government and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM).
The Commission is the largest contributor to the Trust Fund and it co-chairs its Steering Committee together with the Government of Indonesia and the World Bank, which acts as trustee.
The "Europe House" that the Commission is opening in Banda Aceh, run by its Delegation in Jakarta, will facilitate co-ordination amongst donors on rehabilitation and reconstruction activities, and enhance the policy dialogue with local communities and competent authorities on the ground.
Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner commented: "The opening of our new 'Europe House' in Aceh in September is another signal of our commitment to reconstruction of the region. From the House, we hope to enhance co-ordination in order to deliver our aid as efficiently and rapidly as possible and with a greater visibility."
In January 2005, the Commission pledged €207 million reconstruction package for Indonesia. This includes €7 million under the Rapid Reaction Mechanism, which is devoted to kick-start long-term reconstruction work. A total of €203.5 million will be provided through the Trust Fund. This support comes in addition to the Commission's €123 million humanitarian aid assistance to all tsunami-affected countries which started flowing only days after the disaster struck.
For further background, see:
MEMO/05/310: Aceh: Commission's contribution to the peace process and post-tsunNami reconstruction.
Additional information at http://europa.eu.int/comm/world/tsunami