25 February 2005 Two months after a devastating tsunami wrought havoc on a dozen Indian Ocean countries and sparked an unprecedented outpouring of global relief aid, the United Nations reported today that while some of its agencies have received 100 per cent of their immediate flash appeal requirements, others still remain under-funded.
Overall aid pledged so far from or through governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), business and private sources totals $6.28 billion, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which has overall responsibility for supervising relief for the disaster. The deadly waves killed more than 200,000 people and left up to 5 million more in need of basic services.
As far as the UN's own Flash Appeal for the first six months after the 26 December tsunami, governments have paid or committed themselves to pay $721 million out of the $979 million sought.
But while the World Food Programme (WFP) has received all it sought in the appeal and is now feeding 455,000 people in the Aceh region of Indonesia, the worst-hit area, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which is distributing 10,000 tents in Aceh, remains under-funded.
Likewise, while the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), facing an unprecedented devastation in Aceh's education system where one in 10 staff is dead or missing, has received all it sought, the same is not so for the UN Development Programme (UNDP), which is seeking to bring hospitals back on line and provide work, among other tasks.
As overall funding now stands according to a list complied by OCHA, Germany is the largest contributor of humanitarian assistance with $683 million, followed by the Asian Development Bank ($600 million), private donations ($576 million), Japan (about $500 million), European Commission ($494 million), France ($443 million), Australia ($431 million), United States ($354 million) and Canada ($351 million).