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Tsunami: Humanitarian mission acomplished?

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News and Press Release
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The French general public showed extraordinary generosity to assist the survivors of the Tsunami, the gigantic tidal wave which washed over South-East Asia on December 26. Local authorities, companies and water boards also joined the high level of mobilisation. The Tsunami disaster received maximum coverage by the media, who made appeals for donations, in some cases in association with certain humanitarian organisations. Many countries, including France, the European Union, the UN, reacted immediately and are still active today.

Finally, certain organisations declared that more donations had been received than were needed, which provoked a heated debate and raised questions which are still to be answered.

6 months after the tsunami, can a first situation report be made?

At SOLIDARITES we would like to answer this question by making three points.

1- First of all, we would like to thank those who donated funds for their generosity. Secondly, we consider that each humanitarian organisation is personally responsible for what it says and does.

At SOLIDARITES we decided to allocate 100% of the donations received for Tsunami survivors, to keep separate books for these funds, to keep our donors and partners regularly informed (website : www.solidarites.org) and to use 100% of the funds received in 2005, a total of 3.65 million €uros to date (see detailed allocation tables below).

2- According to recent studies and surveys, we have observed that 81% of the French population are still interested in the Tsunami and that 78% of them consider themselves badly informed concerning reconstruction activities. We all have a duty to provide information in this regard.

With 20 volunteers in Sri Lanka (Ampara) and Indonesia (Meulaboh, Sumatra), SOLIDARITES is currently carrying out 3 post-emergency and reconstruction programmes in each country : access to drinking water and hygiene facilities, clearing and recycling debris to allow homes and roads to be rebuilt, revival of fishing activities (nets, boats, motors, clearing the sea bed), revival of rice cultivation, rehabilitation and construction of schools. Detailed information and photos are available upon request from the SOLIDARITES communication department.

We invite journalists, the media and our partners to come and see for themselves the aid programmes currently underway as well as those which have already been completed.

3- Concerning the present and the future, we would like to make the following observations :

- That our programmes are meeting the immediate needs of the affected populations in coastal and rural areas.

- That we are simultaneously working both on post-emergency and reconstruction programmes, and that it will take time for the assisted populations to attain autonomy.

- That we can already envisage a third phase of programmes to accompany populations and areas who have not received aid, to meet thus far undetected needs in these two countries where a high proportion of the population were already living below the poverty line.

- That we need to closely cooperate with local authorities and NGOs to prepare for the future whilst improving the coordination between the intervening parties and by systematically assessing our humanitarian action.

- That we must continue and improve the provision of information to our donors and partners concerning the way in which funds are used and the implementation of our humanitarian programmes.

- That the Tsunami tragedy caused a remarkable mobilisation among many organisations (NGOS, media, governments, local authorities, companies, water boards, etc…) who must now meet their commitments, and who might, in the future, be mobilised again to assist other causes like the Darfur region in Sudan, or the Ituri region in DR Congo.

- That we are available to provide information to journalists concerning our humanitarian activities in Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

- Finally, that we must anticipate our departure and think about what we will leave behind us.


Tables showing sources and uses of funds as of May 31, 2005
Funds received for the Tsunami disaster :
%
Value (€)
Private donors
13%
482 000
Companies and local authorities
(including their employees)
23%
824 000
Seine Normandie Water Board
18%
670 000
Fondation de France
7%
250 000
European Union
15%
535 000
French Government
24%
890 000
Total funds received :
100%
3 651 000

Use of funds - Tsunami disaster :
%
Value (€)
Expenditure as of 31/05/05
Humanitarian action - Sri Lanka
35%
1 270 000
598 000
47%
Humanitarian action - Indonesia
51%
1 847 000
221 000
12%
Head office expenses
8%
291 000
121 000
42%
Communication and fund-raising expenses
6%
203 000
173 000
85%
Pending allocation
1%
40 000
0%
Total funds allocated :
100%
3 651 000
1 113 000
30%
NB - This budget represents 6 programmes which are currently underway in Sri Lanka and Indonesia, the last of which is due to be completed on November 30, 2005. Other humanitarian activities will be launched beyond this date to complement our action.

Press contacts: Alain Boinet, O6.82.59.29.O7 , or O1.43.15.13.13

To support SOLIDARITES’ humanitarian aid programmes
Send your donations to : SOLIDARITES - BP 100- 75020 Paris
or to SOLIDARITES - Villa Souchet - 105 Avenue Gambetta - 75020 Paris
To find out more about SOLIDARITES, please visit our website : www.solidarites.org