U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan has praised world response to the earthquake and tsunami that hit Indian Ocean nations December 26th, saying it set a new standard for generosity in the global community. He spoke to the General Assembly Tuesday in New York, saying he hopes the international effort will help heal old wounds and long-running conflicts.
U.N. humanitarian affairs official Kevin Kennedy said Tuesday search teams on Sumatra are still seeking out pockets of people who have not received aid yet. He said they are finding fewer every day. A spokesman for the U.S. Agency for International Development tells VOA the island lost many government officials and medical workers along with the roads and bridges needed to deliver aid.
The death toll from the earthquake and tsunami now stands at 170,000, after Sri Lanka raised its death toll to 38,000 on Monday. Indonesia says it plans to set up a special agency to oversee reconstruction efforts and track the influx of foreign and domestic aid. And U.N. relief coordinator Jan Egeland told a natural-disaster conference in Kobe, Japan, that the tsunami crisis highlights the need to broaden the field of major donators of humanitarian aid.