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Food has reached needy in Indonesia, Lanka: UN

The organisation was upbeat on the progress of aid deliveries following the December 26 tsunami disaster.
PTI | By Associated Press, Banda Aceh
PUBLISHED ON JAN 12, 2005 10:11 AM IST

The United Nations said food aid has reached all the needy in Sri Lanka and many of those in Indonesia, while both tsunami-battered nations worked to defuse tensions with insurgencies to make sure the massive relief effort is not disrupted.

With more than USD 4 billion in aid promised, UN officials met in Geneva with hopes of persuading donors to honour their pledges and ensure that survivors get the help they need.

In New York, a senior official in the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs was upbeat on the progress of aid deliveries following the December 26 disaster, which hit 11 countries in Asia and Africa, killing more than 1,50,000 people.

In Sri Lanka, "the overall relief effort ... has really gone over the hump," Kevin Kennedy told reporters on Tuesday. "They think they have a good grip on things ... The food assistance, if that can be used as a barometer ... has been delivered to all the affected people in Sri Lanka."

But he said some villages along the hard-hit west coast of Indonesia's Sumatra Island -- where more than 1,00,000 people died - was yet to be reached. He said the UN's World Food Programme was already delivering food assistance to 3,00,000 people on the island.

Worst affected by last month's massive earthquake and tsunami was Aceh, Sumatra's northernmost province, which has been long wracked by a separatist rebellion. In a bid to focus all resources on disaster efforts, Indonesia's military chief offered a ceasefire, matching a unilateral one declared by the insurgents.

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