France has stated that the Paris Club of donors will freeze debt repayments from countries hit by the Asian tsunami. Finance minister Herve Gaymard said agreement had been reached quickly ahead of a meeting in the French capital. Yesterday, in Geneva, the head of the UN aid effort, Jan Egeland, said international donors had moved with record speed; “It has never happened before that two weeks after a disaster we have 717 million dollars that we can spend on immediate emergency relief efforts.”
Representatives from more than 80 countries held a one-minute silence for those who lost their lives in the disaster. It is thought more than 150,000 people died when the giant waves struck.