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Friday, January 24, 2020

India announces USD one million for UN tsunami fund

The trust fund supports activities that build resilience through strengthened early warning systems for coastal hazards.

By: Press Trust of India | Bangkok/new Delhi | Published: December 26, 2014 10:11:38 pm
In this Saturday Jan. 1, 2005 file photo, a man looks at a floating debris and dead bodies on Aceh River in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. The tsunami that struck on Dec. 26, 2004, was one of the world’s worst natural disasters in modern times. The tsunami that struck on Dec. 26, 2004, was one of the world’s worst natural disasters in modern times. It followed a magnitude 9.1 earthquake that ruptured the sea floor off Indonesia’s Sumatra island, displacing billions of tons of water and sending waves 10 meters (33 feet) high radiating across the Indian Ocean at jetliner speeds. Associated Press journalists who covered the story recall some of the most poignant images from the disaster. (Source: AP Photo/ File) In this Saturday Jan. 1, 2005 file photo, a man looks at a floating debris and dead bodies on Aceh River in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. (Source: AP Photo/ File)

Ten years after a massive Tsunami triggered by an earthquake smashed the coastline of around 14 nations, India on Friday announced a USD one million contribution to a UN fund for strengthening early warning systems for natural disasters.

The contribution made to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Multi-Donor Trust Fund for Tsunami, Disaster and Climate Preparedness in Indian Ocean and Southeast Asian countries is expected to boost ESCAP’s efforts to strengthen early warning systems through regional and South-South cooperation.

Announced by Ambassador of India to Thailand Harsh Vardhan Shringla, the donation will also ensure that vulnerable communities receive the timely warning information that is required to save lives and livelihoods in disasters.

“India joins the international community in its efforts to prepare for any such natural calamity in the future by establishing effective early warning systems,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said in her message.

On December 26, 2004, a 9.3-magnitude earthquake off Indonesia’s western point generated a series of massive tsunamis that smashed the coastline of 14 countries, including India, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Somalia. The quake and the tsunamis claimed thousands of lives.

The trust fund supports activities that build resilience through strengthened early warning systems for coastal hazards.

Noting that the Indian Ocean tsunami was devastating in its impact on coastal communities in several countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Shringla said that despite suffering large casualties, India was one of the first countries to extend assistance in search and rescue and rehabilitation of the victims in neighbouring countries.

“Since then, India has made great strides to strengthen its multi-hazard early warning system and has extended this facility to cover the region.

“On the tenth anniversary of the Indian Ocean Tsunami, the Government of India has announced the contribution of USD 1 million to the Tsunami Trust Fund of UNESCAP to further strengthen the process of building resilience to natural disasters in the Asia-Pacific region,” he said, according to a UN Information Centre for India and Bhutan statement.

“ESCAP is extremely pleased to partner with the Government of India to further strengthen regional early warning systems and build resilience to natural disasters,” said Shamshad Akhtar, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and ESCAP Executive Secretary.

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