U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and other world leaders are in Indonesia for an emergency summit today (Thursday) on how to best help millions of victims from the devastating Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.
U.N. officials say between three and four billion dollars in aid money has already been pledged, and a massive effort is underway to get food, water and medical care to people in remote areas affected by the December 26th disaster.
Military forces from the United States, Australia, and countries in the tsunami region have been assisting United Nations agencies and private groups in the aid effort.
At the Jakarta summit, Mr. Annan is expected to announce a major U.N. appeal for more medium- and long-term assistance for the affected countries. A plan for debt relief and a disaster early warning system is also expected to be discussed.
Jan Egeland, the U.N. emergency relief coordinator, said the total amount of aid pledges jumped Wednesday when Germany announced it would donate 674 million dollars and Australia pledged 760 million dollars over five years. The International Monetary Fund has also offered up to one billion dollars.