Indonesia: British Red Cross distributes $70 million directly to Acehnese

Banda Aceh, Indonesia-Relief -- The British Red Cross has start distribution of money directly to 10,000 tsunami families in Aceh Besar to build house and start income generating activity. To implement the livelihood program during the next three years, British Red Cross will spend $70 million.

As reported today by IFRC, on launching the program, 42 heads of families go to Bank Central Asia, as the channeling bank, to receive the money. Each family, who already open new bank account, receives $ 85. The first 42 families are resident of Ulee Paya village, subdistrict of Pulo Aceh, in Beras Island.

''This is a huge project. We are happy that other key players are giving their full support and cooperation to ensure its success,'' says Matthias Schmale, British Red Cross Director of international operations.

The programme will cost some US$ 70 million over a period of three years. The funds will be provided through the Disaster and Emergency Committee, an umbrella organization uniting 13 of the United Kingdom's major aid agencies.

The objective of the programme is to empower the beneficiaries, by providing them with funds that they can use as they deem appropriate to their circumstances.

''The implementation, however, should always be within the framework and guidelines agreed on by all parties concerned, including the beneficiaries,'' Schmale stressed. The programme covers housing, livelihood and education for children, with technical support from PMI and BRCS.

According to Bill Marsden, British Red Cross Senior Technical Advisor, each family will be given US$ 3,500, primarily for housing, and an additional US$ 1,000 for restarting some form of economic activity to generate income. For single parents, an additional US$ 500 will be provided.

An orphan, on the other hand, gets an additional US$ 250 every year for three years, or a total of US$ 750, provided he or she goes to school and spends 85 per cent of the time studying, according to Marsden.

In the initial phase, each family receives US$ 85. Of this, US$ 60 will be deposited in a bank account under the name of the beneficiary. The remainder is for the land registration letter issued by the government, land certificate, and other basic family needs.

Over 95 per cent of the funds for the communities are delivered from international banks through the BCA into participating family bank accounts, which will be audited twice yearly. The programme has put in place monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to ensure that every cent is properly accounted for.

In the pilot area of Pulo Aceh, the American Red Cross will provide water and sanitation while the German Red Cross provides for the building of the schools.

The British Red Cross has a commitment to source timber for construction from sustainable and legal suppliers. It is also using house designs that have been tested for resistance to flood, earthquake and high winds. © che