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Tsunami sparked biggest relief work

British relief group Oxfam said its tsunami appeal had raised $278 million, a record for the group.

india Updated: Dec 22, 2005 17:00 IST

Last year's Indian Ocean tsunami sparked an unprecedented outpouring of aid and triggered Oxfam's biggest-ever relief operation, the British relief group said on Monday.

In a report released ahead of the December 26 anniversary of the disaster, Oxfam said its tsunami appeal had raised $278 million, a record for the group. More than 90 per cent of the money came from members of the public.

The group said that within the first year it would have spent $127 million of the money, working in all the worst affected countries -Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, the Maldives, Somalia and Myanmar.

Sixty per cent of the money has been spent on public health measures such as wells and toilets and on "work to rebuild people's livelihoods," Oxfam said.

More than 2,00,000 people were killed in countries around the Indian Ocean when an undersea earthquake triggered a huge tidal wave on December 26, 2004.

Former Irish President Mary Robinson, who is Oxfam's honorary president, said the tsunami had been "a unique challenge."

"The magnitude of the disaster demanded a response on a scale beyond any previous experience," Robinson said.

"It has also generated an unprecedented surge of generosity from people around the world.

"This has imposed a massive responsibility on organisations such as Oxfam to demonstrate to donors that we are spending their money transparently and wisely.

First Published: Dec 05, 2005 10:33 IST