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Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Clinton meets UK aid chiefs to talk over tsunami plan
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¬†Former US President Bill Clinton yesterday met the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) an umbrella group of 13 leading UK-based humanitarian agencies including CAFOD - for talks aimed at ensuring that aid reaches the people hit hardest by the tsunami as swiftly and as efficiently as possible. Mr Clinton, appointed UN Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery last March, met aid agency chiefs who explained how plans are now being drawn up to boost spending as the lasting economic impact of the disaster and the local challenges become clearer. "The members of DEC are on the frontlines of the recovery effort working directly with the affected communities," said Mr Clinton. "As we transition from relief to recovery it is imperative that local communities participate in the decision-making process and that the needs of families, and especially children, are at the heart of the recovery agenda." The DEC is allocating a further £40 million to member aid agencies working in the field to help the millions of people affected by the disaster that killed an estimated 300,000. The DEC has already given £112 million to fund emergency work in the field from the £350 million raised by its emergency appeal from the amazingly generous UK public. It is now upping this to £152 million in response to agencies, expanded plans to rebuild housing, schools and clinics and other long-term reconstruction work over the next six months. CAFOD Director Chris Bain was at the meeting. He said: "President Clinton could play a crucial role in being sure agencies are able to use this money as swiftly and as effectively as possible on the ground, unblock problems and help local governments respond to people's needs. Because of his standing, President Clinton is able to create the necessary space for discussions at the highest level." Chris Bain gave Bill Clinton a Make Poverty History White Band during the meeting, explaining to the former US President how important it is to also remember the emergency of global poverty where 30,000 people die needlessly everyday. Mr Clinton said that the involvement of NGOs on a community level in the affected countries provided "a tremendous opportunity to establish innovative and efficient mechanisms for the recovery effort. "Now is the time to combine the creativity of the NGOs with the mandate of the UN to establish an effective coordinated model which can be used now and in future emergencies."
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