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DFID 2 Public Enquiry Point Abercrombie House, Eaglesham Road, East Kilbride, Glasgow G75 BEA Mr Nikhil Parekh From UK: 0845 300 4100 414 Heritage Homes Co-op Housing Soc. Ltd Dine Lge 4 0) (955.8483 ene Email; enquiryOdid govuk ‘Ahmedabad — 380054 Gujarat India 16 February 2005 Dear Mr Parekh ‘Thank you for your e-mail of 1 January to the Deputy Prime Minister about the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster. It was passed to the Department for International Development (DFID) for reply, as we are leading the govemment response to the disaster. We apologise for the delay in responding. ‘The amount of correspondence we have received from concemed members of the public has been heartening. We would lke to thank you for sharing your thoughts. with us in your poem. DFID has now committed £75 milion towards the immediate UK relief effort in the countries affected by the earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean. We have also provided £14.8 milion through our share of the European Commission's response. We will also make a significant contribution to reconstruction needs. DFID responded promptly, sending the first UK assessment team within 10 hours of the earthquake, and the first relief plane from the UK carrying tents and plastic sheeting to Sri Lanka the next day. The Department gathered information from its two teams on the ground as well as its staf in the United Nations assessment team. This allowed more informed decisions to be made on the levels of funding and appropriate ways to channel UK money. We have focussed our immediate effort on support to the United Nations Humanitarian Organisations, the Red Cross Movement, non-governmental organisations and a range of practical actions, such as delivery of urgently needed telief items including water, water containers, tents and blankets and plastic sheeting. These have been in response to specific requests from Governments of affected countries or from the UN and advice from DFID teams on the ground. DFID is committed to making funding decisions based on assessments of humanitarian ‘needs, and the Department will respond proportionately across all such crises. ‘Te Pt ny Pre a pt crt x nemaon atit OF. Nplenesigonae ‘At present, DFID's priorties are getting co-ordination mechanisms fully operational, unblocking logistical bottlenecks and ensuring assistance is getting to those in greatest need. Our support to the UN's work in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and other affected countries is helping to achieve this. DFID has also undertaken to transport free of charge any items procured through the Disaster Emergencies Committee (DEC), so as to ensure that funds donated by the public are spent on direct assistance and not on freight costs. Itis clear that once the immediate relief phase has passed, there will be a massive need for assistance to get people's lives back to normal by rebuilding infrastructure - roads and telecommunications, schools and hospitals, water and sanitation systems - and helping to rebuild peoples livelinoods. We are already in close touch with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank and other organisations which will be leading this longer-term work. As Gé President we will work to ensure that the governments concemed have the support and funding that they need. At the same time, please be assured that this effort will not divert assistance from DFID's other development programmes, Itis natural that people should be asking how such a catastrophe happened and What could have been done to prevent it. It is clear that there needs to be an early waming system for the Indian Ocean and probably other areas too. The Association of South East Asian Nations has already committed themselves to a system for their region, and the UK is ready to provide support and funding as required. This is in addition to the £2.5 milion a year DFID provides to help reduce disasters worldwide Yours sincerely, Masrea. [Vhkut Maureen McWhirter Public Enquiry Point