New UN-sponsored project launched to help Maldives recover from tsunami

17 August 2005

In yet another United Nations-coordinated effort to promote recovery in the countries devastated by last December’s Indian Ocean tsunami, the Government of Maldives has launched a project financed by the Government of China that will provide $500,000 to rehabilitate two remote islands.

“This is the first time that China, itself a developing country, has provided aid for tsunami recovery for the Maldives,” said Jianguo Shen, of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN HABITAT).

“Although China has pledged over US$ 20 million to tsunami relief across the region, it is unusual for the Chinese Government to be implementing projects through the UN.”

The money will be used to rebuild and repair housing on Dhaalu Vaanee and Dhaalu Meedhoo, both about 150 kilometres from the capital Malé. The islands suffered badly when last year’s December tsunami swept across the country, with 94 dwellings destroyed or seriously damaged. Much of the population of 1,500 was displaced, and nearly eight months later, many are still living in temporary shelter.

UN-HABITAT is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.


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