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Indian Ocean Tsunami

Volume 454: debated on Monday 11 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what aid his Department has provided to Aceh since the tsunami. (104606)

The province of Aceh in Indonesia was struck by an earthquake followed by tsunami that devastated an 800km coastal strip in December 2004. The tsunami killed around 170,000 people and displaced approximately 500,000 from their homes.

In the immediate aftermath of the tsunami DFID committed £55 million to emergency relief projects in Aceh, and the neighbouring island of Nias which was also severely affected. All emergency relief projects have been successfully concluded, and relief needs were met in all projects. The evaluation of all relief projects is set out in the document “Report on DFID's response to the Indian Ocean Disaster”, copies of which have been placed in the Libraries of the House and can also be found on the DFID website.

In addition, DFID has allocated £59 million to longer term reconstruction and recovery in Aceh and Nias. These funds are being channelled mainly through the following programmes:

Over £38 million committed to the Multi-Donor Fund for Aceh and Nias (MDF). The MDF pools the resources of 15 donors in support of the Government of Indonesia's own plans and priorities for reconstruction. It has become a proven and effective partner in the recovery process. The MDF currently supports 16 projects which provide needed assistance to four under-funded sectors: the recovery of communities; infrastructure and transport; capacity building and governance; and sustainable management of the environment.

£10 million for the livelihoods component of UNDP's Emergency Response and Transitional Recovery (ERTR) programme, which has provided cash for work for over 50,000 beneficiaries in the aftermath of the tsunami. The focus is now on building sustainable livelihoods. The programme has enabled over 50,000 beneficiaries to re-engage in income generation and many of these are now self-sufficient.

£6 million to the World Bank's Support for Poor and Disadvantaged Areas (SPADA) programme, to provide support to strengthen governance, promote growth and improve service delivery in Aceh and Nias. This programme is just getting under way.

£3 million through the Decentralisation Support Facility (DSF) managed by the World Bank, to support Government and implementing partners’ ability to assist tsunami-affected communities to rebuild their lives.

DFID also provided over £1 million to a number of smaller initiatives which aim to improve transparency in the way reconstruction funds are managed, build the capacity (particularly relating to procurement) of local governments and other agencies involved in the reconstruction effort, and activities to help consolidate peace in Aceh.

Both the MDF and ERTR programmes have been reviewed positively in recent independent reviews as well as by DFID's own monitoring activities. Progress has been made, but there is still a long way to go. For example, the Government of Indonesia's Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency for Aceh and Nias (BRR) ( estimates that 120,000 units of new housing are required, and, as of April 2006, 41,734 had been built.