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Serving Sri Lanka

This web log is a news and views blog. The primary aim is to provide an avenue for the expression and collection of ideas on sustainable, fair, and just, grassroot level development. Some of the topics that the blog will specifically address are: poverty reduction, rural development, educational issues, social empowerment, post-Tsunami relief and reconstruction, livelihood development, environmental conservation and bio-diversity. 

Monday, December 26, 2005

Jobs 'return to tsunami region'

BBC: 20/12/2005"

Up to two-thirds of those who lost their jobs in the Asian tsunami are working again, a report says.
Published by UK charity Oxfam, the report says this is partly because of schemes employing people to clear debris and desalinate land.

But it also says about a million jobs were lost, and more needs to be done.

Oxfam believes that the drive to restore jobs has progressed more than some other areas of the recovery operation, such as shelter.

Last week, the charity said about a fifth of those made homeless would be in satisfactory permanent accommodation by the first anniversary of the disaster.

The report, called Back to Work, says up to 85% of those who lost their jobs will have new ones by the end of 2006.

Unemployment in badly affected areas rose sharply, Oxfam found, reaching more than 20% in Sri Lanka and a third in Indonesia's Aceh province.

Many of those worst affected remain among the most vulnerable, the charity says.

They include fishing families, small-scale farmers, labourers, small business holders and those in the tourist industry.

'Impressive'

Some two million people were forced into poverty by the effects of the tsunami, Oxfam observes.

But the report estimates that 1.4 million of those will have regained their previous status by 2007.

Oxfam director Barbara Stocking said the report marked an impressive recovery.

"One year on, well over half of people who lost their jobs are already back at work.

"Most of the destroyed fishing boats have been replaced and thousands of hectares of farm land have been cleared and replanted."

Oxfam's report stressed that many underlying causes of poverty still remain, particularly in coastal areas over-reliant on fishing or tourism.

In Sri Lanka, where the tsunami slammed into eastern and southern coastlines, up to 65% of the fishing fleet was wiped out, Oxfam says.

In Aceh, less reliant on tourism but more dependent on fishing, unemployment hit 33% after 70% of the area's fishing fleet was scuppered.


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