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World's biggest humanitarian effort underway in Asia

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World's biggest humanitarian effort underway in Asia


Five million survivors of the tsunami disaster are estimated to be at risk.

With little food, water or shelter, rich and poor countries around the world have been pulling together to help them. “We have been receiving aid for years, now we think its time Poland should help others,” said one Polish aid worker. The United nations charity UNICEF estimates a third of the tsunami victims are children, and with thousands more left orphaned it has been working around the clock. Much of the work so far has focused on delivering clean water and medicines to the many makeshift camps that have been set up along the devastated south Asian coastline. Stopping the spread of disease is paramount. Indonesia, the nation worst hit by the tsunami, is to host a summit on January 6th to obtain more emergency aid for the affected region. Governments from around the world have promised to dig deep. Britain is donating 70 million euros, Spain 50 million, France 41 million. The European Union commmissioner for humanitarian aid, Louis Michel, has emphasised the importance of setting up the reconstruction effort straight away. “What I fear is that a first phase of help spurred by a sense of urgency will pass, and that then efforts will diminish dramatically”, he said. The EU has pledged 30 million euros. It is also setting up an aid conference to be held in Geneva, Switzerland on January 11th.
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