January 11 2005
Aid efforts in tsunami-hit regions must now help families rebuild their lives
10 January 2005 - As survivors of the tsunami disaster in India and Sri Lanka are leaving emergency relief shelters and returning to the ruins of their villages, international aid efforts must refocus on helping families rebuild their lives. In response, SOS Children's Villages is moving its relief centres for children and vulnerable families to new locations. The children's NGO will also help rebuild fishing communities in India and is operating a mobile clinic in Sri Lanka.
"Flexibility is now demanded from international aid efforts in India and Sri Lanka. We must refocus our relief efforts in the spirit of helping families rebuild their homes and livelihoods. Affected families must be strengthened so that they can continue to care for their children," said Siddharta Kaul, Continental Director of SOS Children's Villages in Asia.
In response to people moving back to their villages and surroundings in south eastern India, SOS Children's Villages moved some of its relief centres for children and their families. The children's NGO has received the approval of the Indian government to assist in the rebuilding of four devastated fishing towns (Pudukuppam, Chinnavaikal, Kannagi Nagar and Akkampettai). Some 300 families and 800 children in these towns will be provided with temporary shelter, new fishing boats, food and cooking utensils. In addition, nine activity centres are currently serving as day-care centres providing some 720 children with therapeutic activities and basic necessities. A further 11 such centres are in the planning.
In Sri Lanka, SOS Children's Villages continues to provide relief aid in the LTTE-controlled eastern regions near Batticaloa. In addition, the NGO is operating a mobile clinic providing medical assistance and typhoid vaccinations to children and families in the worst-hit tsunami districts of Galle and Matara. So far, approximately 1,500 people have received treatment.
SOS Children's Villages is a non-governmental and non-denominational organisation providing long-term care to some 55,000 orphaned, abandoned and destitute children in 132 countries. In addition, over 650,000 needy children and families worldwide are provided with educational, social and medical services. SOS Children's Villages has been carrying out humanitarian work in India since 1964 and in Sri Lanka since 1980.
For further information on the humanitarian work of SOS Children's Villages or to organise interviews with staff in Austria or the field, please contact:
Tel: (+43-1) 3682457-2185 OR (+43-664) 140 email@example.com