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DEVELOPMENTS IN EACH COUNTRY

Estimated death toll 232,010

Indonesia

The World Bank says it may cost $5bn to rebuild parts of Aceh province, the worst-hit area by the tsunami disaster. Along with the Asian Development Bank, it will jointly lend $3bn-$4bn for infrastructure projects in the next three years. Despite the destruction, the ADB estimates the Indonesian economy will be barely affected in terms of GDP.

The opening of a second airport in January on Sabang island, off the north tip of Sumatra, helped relieve the initial bottlenecks that had severely slowed aid distribution efforts in the worst-affected areas of Aceh. Heavy monsoon rains caused widespread flooding, worsening the plight of many of the then estimated 600,000 homeless.

The World Food Programme expects to be feeding up to 800,000 people for another year.

There are now up to 47 permanent primary health centres, each serving between 10,000 and 30,000 displaced and vulnerable people in the Aceh Province.

The reconstruction process is slow and many of the rebuilding projects are at least two months behind schedule. Bureaucracy has severely hampered the decision making process and added to the severe delays in the approval of projects, many of which only received the green light in May, almost five months after the disaster. The continuing widespread shortages in both electricity and fresh water supplies add to the burden of slow progress

Major projects for the authorities include permanent housing, creating new jobs and rebuilding infrastructure. At least 130,000 homes and 1,226 schools still need to be rebuilt or repaired. It is estimated that 1,168 schools were destroyed, damaged or partially damaged. Unicef pledged to build 200 temporary primary schools in Aceh by July 18, the new Indonesian school year. So far, tent classrooms are being used as a temporary solution.

Official death toll 131,934, missing 37,066

Sri Lanka

The Indian Ocean island nation will receive $3bn in foreign aid. The long-delayed and controversial plan to give Tamil Tiger separatists a key role in distributing international tsunami aid has been agreed, giving a much needed boost to the island’s stalled peace process. The deal will ensure that aid reaches the rebel-controlled north and northeast of the South Asian nation.

Tourism has been very slow. The industry was the fourth largest contributor of Sri Lanka’s GDP in 2004, contributing US$430m to the economy. Total losses are estimated to equal 4.4 percent of GDP with about US$500m in external financing required in the short term for 2005, according to the ADB. The tsunami may lower projected economic growth in 2005 from 6 to 5 per cent.

The World Bank’s damage assessment in Sri Lanka found about 90,000 homes were fully or partially destroyed. To help kick start the rebuilding process, the Bank allocated an initial $40m for permanent housing support cash grants. Up till now, more than 11,500 households have received the first instalment of about $500 from the World Bank for reconstruction purposes.

Tens of thousands of tsunami survivors are still living in tented shelter, surviving on food handouts, but the number of homeless has fallen from 900,000 immediately after the disaster to 40,000. International humanitarian agencies are feeding as many as 100,000 mainly in the most devastated areas of the southern, eastern and northern seaboard.

At least 51 schools were completely destroyed and an additional 100 were partially damaged.

The government announced a reconstruction drive to build 15 new towns in safe areas on its southern and eastern coasts, but some Sri Lankans are already rebuilding, defying an official ban to put up houses and hotels close to the shore. The US military completed debris removal in schools in Galle and plans to depart for Colombo by the end of January.

Official death toll: 38,940 (includes missing)

India

The cost of the damage was estimated at about $1.5bn, but the disaster is likely to have little long-term economic impact as the devastated areas were mainly poor fishing villages. India has handled rescue and relief work itself, refusing international financial assistance. The state government in Tamil Nadu gave power to local officials who are working with aid agencies, avoiding much of the red tape seen elsewhere in the tsunami affected region.

It is estimated that up to 400,000 people are still living in refugee camps in southern India and in the Andaman and Nicobar islands.

New Delhi has declared an end to the search and rescue phase of its tsunami disaster operation, having accounted for 98 per cent of all probable Indian survivors. Operations now focus on reconstruction.

Unicef is working with the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences to provide psychosocial therapy in the affected areas of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, training specialist volunteers and teachers in identifying signs of trauma in children and helping them in the process of healing.

Official death toll: 12,405, missing 5,640

Thailand

An unprecedented international forensic operation to identify up to 3,000 tsunami victims began in January. The operation involves Interpol, the Thai police and at least 20 other national police and specialist forces. Up to 1,985 bodies have yet to be identified. The government is considering declaring those still missing as dead to allow families to forego a two-year waiting period and claim inheritances and benefits.

The government has promised 60bn baht ($1.53bn) in aid for survivors and businesses affected by the tsunami, including 37bn baht earmarked for soft loans.

Tourists are staying away. The Phuket island’s tourism revenues are set to fall to 45 bn baht ($1.1bn) this year from 85bn baht in 2004.

In the devastated fishing village of Ban Namkhem, on the west coast, relief efforts continue in a tented camp that houses at least 1,000 people, too scared to return to hastily erected houses courtesy of the Thai army. The camp is mosquito ridden and little fresh running water. Practically the entire population of the village were killed.

Separately, it is estimated that thousands of illegal Myanmar migrants are still hiding in villages or rubber plantations in southern Thailand because they are scared police and government officials will round them up and send them back to their army-run homeland.

The country, which relies on tourists for 6.4 per cent of its economy, is spending at least $750m on rebuilding resorts.The destruction wrought by the tsunami will cut growth in south-east Asia’s second-biggest economy by as much as 0.4 percentage points this year. The shrimp industry was hit hard in Thailand, the world’s biggest exporter, with about $500m lost in revenue.

Official death toll: 5,395, missing 2,932

East Africa

The tsunami struck hardest on the northeastern coastline of Somalia, but the coastlines of Kenya, Seychelles, Tanzania and Madagascar were also hit. Unicef provided the initial shelter materials, provision of clean water and, in collaboration with the WHO, medical care needs.

Some of the affected areas have been inaccessible because of security concerns. The UN estimates that up to 1,500 buildings and 40 villages in north eastern Somalia were damaged. The UN aims to repair 1,000 houses and build 500 new ones in affected areas, at an estimated cost of $2m.

Unicef, the UN’s World Food Programme and High Commissioner for Refugees are all working on longer-term shelter needs.

Official death toll: 312* , missing 158**

* Figure includes Kenya, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania and Madagascar. ** Figure for Somalia only

Maldives

The government estimates damage at just over $1bn. Reconstruction efforts are underway as people start rebuilding their homes and property and children are back to school.

At least 13,311 people were left homeless and 8,352 displaced.

Tourism, which accounts for 34 per cent of gross domestic product, has been badly hit. The scale of the damage caused by the tsunami has forced 20 per cent of resorts to close for several months in order to carry out renovation works. The impact of tsunami was severe, one-third of the population of 290,000 were affected and only nine out of its 199 inhabited islands were spared destruction.

It will cost around $375m to rebuild homes and infrastructure and $114m needed for water sanitation plants and the transport sector. The ADB predicts slowdown in real GDP growth to around 1 per cent for 2005 compared to a pre-tsunami forecast of 7.5 per cent.

Official death toll: 82 , missing 26

Malaysia

Together with the government, the UN provided support in the areas of health and nutrition, water and sanitation and psychosocial counselling.

Tourism, the country’s second-biggest foreign-exchange earner after product exports, is recovering. Tourist arrivals rose four per cent in April from a year earlier as more people visited from countries such as South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia and the UK.

Official death toll 68, missing 12

Myanmar

An initial UN joint assessment mission report estimated that up to 5,000 people who depended on fishing in coastal areas of the Irrawaddy delta needed assistance. But later assessments by the Tsunami Assistance Co-ordination Group, chaired by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, concluded that Myanmar had been largely spared from the damage of the tsunami, and that the initial emergency needs had been met by the government and the aid community.

It is estimated that thousands of illegal Myanmar migrants are still hiding in villages or rubber plantations in southern Thailand, too scared police and government officials will round them up and send them back home. Various agencies, such the Tsunami Action Group, a Thai non-governmental organisation, and the International Organisation for Migration, have started handing out food, clothes and legal advice.

Official death toll 90

Bangladesh

Official death toll 2

Sources: UN Office of the Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery

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