The Australian Government is committed to achieving better results from the aid program. It is important that these results are delivered effectively, and clearly demonstrate value for money. The demand for information on aid program decision making and expenditure-from the public and from partners-is increasing as the aid budget continues to grow.
East Timor's development faces serious challenges. The attacks on the democratically elected leaders in February 2008 underscore the fragility of East Timor's new democracy. While the perpetrators were apprehended and the situation remained calm, the security and justice sectors remain weak and in need of reform. The country continues to rely on international security forces to maintain stability. Across the country, a large number of people remain displaced and vulnerable to natural disasters, disease and food shortages.
Summary of achievements
On Boxing Day, 2004, an earthquake centred in the Indian Ocean and measuring between 9.1 and 9.3 on the Richter scale - the second largest earthquake ever recorded on a seismograph - triggered a series of tsunamis, causing one of the deadliest disasters in modern history.
Nowhere else was this disaster felt more powerfully than in Aceh, where 168,000 people died, over 500,000 were made homeless and the equivalent of 120 average Australian suburbs (120,000 houses) were totally destroyed.
The 26 December 2004 earthquake and tsunami in Northern Sumatra has had a devastating impact on the provinces of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalum (NAD) and the Nias Island. The situation was exacerbated by the March 28th 2005 earthquake which had a significant impact on the Province of Nias Island. Much of the region's coastal infrastructure, housing, and record systems have been lost, along with more than 130,000 lives. Approximately 300,000 land parcels were directly affected by the tsunami (160,000 urban, 140,000 rural).
Between 09 and 14 January 2005 an assessment of the damage to communities and relief needs was conducted to the western Aceh islands by an AusAID/CARE International Team comprising:
Dan Hunt Second Secretary AusAID
Clive Richardson CARE Australia
Rod Volway CARE Canada HA&ET
B. Lockton Morrissey Disaster Management Consultant AusAID