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Powell,Annan Tour Tsunami Destruction

  • VOA News

The amount of public and private donations to the Tsunami relief effort has reached five billion dollars, as the death toll in South Asia rises above 150,000, Indonesia confirmed 7,000 more deaths on Friday, increasing its toll to 100,000 -- most of which were in the hard-hit province of Aceh. That brings the total number of confirmed dead in the region to more than 153,000. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan toured Aceh on Friday, while U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell visited battered fishing villages in Sri Lanka. During a meeting of the European Union on Thursday, members discussed creating a rapid reaction force for future disasters. The 25-nation bloc has pledged nearly two billion dollars to fund the relief efforts. The United Nations is urging governments to speed promised donations to relief organizations over worries the money received will fall well short of the amount promised. Meanwhile, finance ministers of the Group of Seven nations have agreed to support suspending debt repayments of affected nations.
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