Pasar Aceh, one of the city's main markets, was heavily damaged by the tsunami. The street, lined with smashed and uninhabited shop-houses where gold and garment vendors previously sold their wares, is located directly behind Banda Aceh's main mosque. The city administration, which requested IOM spearhead the market rehabilitation programme, plans to close the strip to vehicle traffic and turn it into a pedestrian shopping area within the next two years.
IOM's USAID-funded Banda Aceh market revitalization project will also build hundreds of stalls at Lapangan basket vegetable market and the space formerly occupied by Kedah Prison, which the tsunami reduced to rubble. Local men are being employed to build the market stalls under a cash for work programme after having received basic carpentry training. By the programme's end, 2,000 local merchants will have been able to regain their livelihoods.
Another 650 market stalls are being built on the island of Nias damaged by an earthquake in March.
The market revitalization programme is an important component of IOM's efforts to rehabilitate communities by providing transitional shelter, revitalizing the health care system and securing livelihoods.
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