HL Deb 17 March 2005 vol 670 c67WS
The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Amos)

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for International Development (Mr Hilary Benn) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The 26 December 2004 tsunami brought destruction to coastal areas of south and south-east Asian countries and claimed over 273,000 lives, leaving millions of people in need of assistance.

DfID committed £75 million to the immediate relief effort, some £66 million of which has already been allocated to United Nations agencies, the Red Cross movement, and non-governmental organisations, or spent through DfID direct action or donations in kind. The British public has responded with unprecedented generosity to this disaster. Appeals such as that of the Disasters Emergency Committee have had an overwhelming response.

DfID will now contribute up to £65 million for longer-term rehabilitation and reconstruction. This is likely to be channelled mainly through the trust funds that are being set up in affected countries. Our response will be guided by the findings of needs assessments currently being finalised, and by the level of resources already available to affected countries. Our assistance towards longer-term reconstruction will not be at the expense of DfID funding for other emergencies or existing programmes.