Tsunami one year on: WFP extends food aid for Indonesia and Sri Lanka

Published on 29 November 2005

WFP has extended its operations in Indonesia and Sri Lanka through 2007 for 1.5 million people whose lives were touched by the 26 December tsunami, but will phase out of the Maldives and Somalia by the end of the year.

Tsunami relief operations in Myanmar and Thailand were wrapped up in mid-2005.

Initially food was provided to all people affected by the tsunami in Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Now the agency is concentrating on those people still having trouble piecing their lives together.

Focus on most vulnerable

WFP will focus assistance on the most vulnerable: children, new mothers, the elderly and displaced people

Anthony Banbury, WFP Regional Director for Asia

“We will maintain our commitment to the tsunami survivors by providing help to those communities that most need it,” said Anthony Banbury, WFP Regional Director for Asia.

“WFP will focus assistance on the most vulnerable: children, new mothers, the elderly and displaced people. We will be there until people are back on their feet and have regained the livelihoods they lost.”

1.5 million people

Aid will be provided to approximately 1.2 million people affected by the tsunami in Indonesia, and another 347,000 in Sri Lanka.

At the peak of the operation in May 2005, WFP provided food aid to 2.24 million people in six countries across the tsunami zone.

Civil conflict

In Sri Lanka, the assistance to tsunami-hit communities will be joined with a larger, ongoing programme for people in conflict-affected areas.

Many of the coastal areas of Sri Lanka that were hit by the tsunami were already suffering the effects of the long-running civil conflict in that country.

Steadfast commitment

By providing food aid, WFP allows these people to focus on rebuilding their lives, their homes and their assets without worrying where the next meal is coming from

Anthony Banbury, WFP Regional Director for Asia

“Recovery is well underway in certain communities, and we are phasing out our assistance to some groups. But many others are still suffering, and WFP’s commitment to them remains steadfast,” said Banbury.

“By providing food aid, WFP allows these people to focus on rebuilding their lives, their homes and their assets without worrying where the next meal is coming from.”

Long-term recovery

In Indonesia and Sri Lanka, aid will continue to be provided but the assistance will increasingly focus on long-term recovery rather than free food distributions to the entire populations.

In Sri Lanka, some 100,000 children aged under five as well as pregnant and new mothers will be provided with supplementary food through mother and child nutrition programmes.

School feeding programmes

In Aceh and Nias in Indonesia, close to half a million schoolchildren will receive meals or mid-morning snacks through large-scale school feeding programmes.

Operations in both countries will include Food-for-Work projects that provide food rations to workers as they rebuild houses, household assets, and community infrastructure.