Only half of tsunami aid has been spent
13 December 2005, BRUSSELS — The large scale emergency aid fund Tsunami 1212 collected EUR 53 million in donations in Belgium last year, but just 50 percent of the money has actually been spent.
13 December 2005
BRUSSELS — The large scale emergency aid fund Tsunami 1212 collected EUR 53 million in donations in Belgium last year, but just 50 percent of the money has actually been spent.
However, treasurer Eric Todts denied speculation that too much money was donated to the Indian Ocean tsunami fund. "We can ultimately ride it out over a couple of years," he said.
Tsunami 1212, the consortium of emergency aid groups, has divided donations between the five charities that co-operated on the project, namely Oxfam, Red Cross, Handicap International, Unicef and Caritas International.
Tsunami 1212 spokesperson Philippe Henon said the money collected in Belgium was primarily spent in Sri Lanka and Indonesia because they were the hardest hit regions.
Henon also said the relief effort is on schedule: "We have been able to avoid the outbreak of infectious diseases, which were feared, due partly because we could ensure access to clean water".
For the reconstruction of the tsunami disaster area, the Belgian emergency relief fund has a time frame of three to five years, newspaper 'De Standaard' reported on Monday.
In 2006, USD 83 million is promised for reconstruction efforts, declining to USD 51 million in 2007 and USD 17 million in 2008.
Almost 250,000 people were killed in the earth-quake triggered tsunami on 26 December last year.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news