Military marks end of tsunami relief in Aceh

17th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

17 March 2005, BANDA ACEH, INDONESIA - Germany's military marked the official end of their assistance to the tsunami-ravaged province of Aceh in Indonesia on Thursday after conducting a humanitarian mission since early January, officials said.

17 March 2005

BANDA ACEH, INDONESIA - Germany's military marked the official end of their assistance to the tsunami-ravaged province of Aceh in Indonesia on Thursday after conducting a humanitarian mission since early January, officials said.

A ceremony was scheduled to be held to bid farewell to some 380 German service officers aboard the navy logistics ship the Berlin, which was sent to the waters off the coast of the provincial capital Banda Aceh.

Aceh's acting governor Azwar Abubakar applauded Germany's role in Aceh following the December tsunami disaster.

"We're very proud of all the assistance provided by the German government," Abubakar said. "We hope that the assistance will not come to an end after the departure of Germany military from Aceh."

The German embassy in Jakarta said in a statement that the ship will continue to play an "important role" in the international efforts towards rehabilitation and reconstruction within the framework of the Indonesian rebuilding plans.

Before departing from the tsunami-devastated province, the German armed forces handed over medical equipment to the main hospital in Banda Aceh, the Dr. Zainoel Abidin Hospital, worth some EUR 1.3 million. The last soldiers were expected to leave the province on Friday.

Germany is providing one of the largest contributions to the tsunami-hit region, giving some USD 70 million (EUR 52 million) to Indonesia alone. The money is being channelled through German institutions and other international bodies involved in the humanitarian operations.

During aid efforts in Aceh, the German military and the World Health Organisation also delivered medical treatment and mosquito nets to people on Aceh's western coastal areas, an embassy statement said.

In addition, a German technical assistance organisation also rebuilt vital facilities and infrastructure, as well as providing clean water, improving sanitation conditions and rebuilding schools in the disaster-hit areas in Aceh, the embassy said.

The German and Indonesian governments also agreed on Monday to set up an early warning system for areas prone to tsunamis.

Aceh has been hardest-hit by the 26 December disaster that devastated thousands of homes and buildings along the province's coastline, leaving more than 220,000 people dead or missing.

DPA

Subject: German news

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