CHF International and partners launch economic revitalization program in Indonesia's Aceh province

CHF International has just launched a long-term program with several key partners to reconstruct Indonesia's Aceh Province, the area hardest hit by the December 26, 2004 earthquake and resulting tsunamis. CHF International's partners in this program include DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary, AmeriCares Foundation, Inc. and Briggs and Stratton Corporation.
The program, High Impact Revitalization of the Economy in Aceh (HIRE-Aceh), will focus on rebuilding homes and community infrastructure for the internally displaced; rebuilding economic infrastructure and processes that are critical to market chains and key industries in affected areas; restoring the productive capacity of individual trades people and small- and medium-sized enterprises; revitalizing business and market associations and cooperatives; and improving governance, so as to ensure the local populace's participation in resettlement and reconstruction issues.

An event marking the launch of HIRE-Aceh was held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Jakarta on April 27th. Speakers included CHF International's Senior Vice President, Judith Hermanson, as well as the President of Briggs and Stratton Asia, Jeffery S. Albright.

Briggs and Stratton donated critical equipment for CHF's reconstruction efforts, including more than 300 generators, water pumps and boat motors that are desperately needed by the people of Aceh to rehabilitate their land, reconstruct homes and business, power their fishing boats, and help them to regain their economic and social well being as quickly as possible.

The importance of this event was further highlighted by the presence of Dr. Soen'an H. Poernomo, Secretary of the Task Force for the Reconstruction of Aceh of the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries.

In addition, through a partnership and donation with AmeriCares, CHF will be rebuilding Banda Aceh's Lampulo Market and an important ice-making factory -- facilities that are critical to the revitalization of the Acehnese fishing industry.

The CraftsCenter at CHF International will also be partnering with the Association of Exporters and Producers of Indonesian Handicraft (ASEPHI) for the next several years to help rehabilitate the traditional handicraft industry in tsunami affected areas of Aceh and elsewhere in Indonesia.

CHF International responded quickly in the immediate aftermath of the tsunamis, with a focus on economic revitalization for Internationally Displaced Persons (IDPs). To date, such assistance has included: the provision of resources to restore boat and fishing equipment stocks for fishing communities; start-up capital to women market traders; the rehabilitation and restoration of local markets; organizational assistance to small-scale market associations; and the development of strategies for shelter provision and community resettlement. In addition to its work in Aceh, CHF International is building over 3,000 transitional shelters for displaced communities in Sri Lanka's Galle and Matara regions.

Founded in 1952, CHF International serves as a catalyst for long-lasting positive change in low- and moderate-income communities around the world, helping families improve their economic circumstances, environment and infrastructure. The organization provides technical expertise and leadership in international development, including development finance, housing and entrepreneurship. CHF has worked in over 100 countries worldwide since its inception and currently has programs in 34.