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Relief crews struggle to distribute aid

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Relief crews struggle to distribute aid

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Aid for the tsunami victims is flowing in but the task of getting supplies to those who need it most is proving a logistical nightmare.

Poor communications means it is difficult to know what kind of provisions will arrive and when. A steady flow of planes loaded with food, water and medicine is leaving Jakarta bound for Indonesia’s Aceh province. But the small airport there is said to be stretched to the limit. The US has now pledged ten times more aid than it originally announced – a total of 258 million euros. Secretary of State Colin Powell explained why. “This ten-fold increase is indicative of American generosity but it also is indicative of the need. The need is great, and not just for immediate relief but for long-term reconstruction, rehabilitation, family support and economic support.” The total amount already promised to the tsunami disaster victims totals over one billion euros. That figure is still climbing, with Japan announcing it will provide up to 369 million euros in grant aid. A series of summits is planned for the coming weeks to decide how the money should be distributed.