Danish NGO Boosts Tsunami-hit Businesses in Indonesia

Many communities along the coastline of Aceh province were reduced to poverty levels as a consequence of the economic disruption caused by the enormously powerful and destructive tsunami that hit Southeast Asian shores back in December 2004. In particular, villages relying on agricultural production and fisheries for subsistence and small business were severely affected.
     But since then, the Red Cross has made it top priority to restore the livelihoods of the estimated 600,000 people affected by the tsunami, as well as those impacted by subsequent earthquake in Nias earthquake. One of several so-called Red Cross Red Crescent projects aimed at restoring customary industries on Sumatra is the Danish Red Cross “Primary production support programme” in 16 tsunami-affected villages in Teunom district along Aceh’s west coast.
     The project is helping to revitalize the agricultural base through a three-pronged approach encompassing: flood prevention, including river bank protection and dyke reconstruction; rehabilitation of agricultural drainage systems; and local gardening support, including provision of seeds and also training where required.
     The programme is also complemented by a community-based needs identification process and a community-driven cash component that generates employment for people to carry out the labour-intensive rehabilitation and reconstruction work.

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