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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 January, 2005, 22:56 GMT
Summit approves tsunami warning
Children in Aceh refugee camp
Kofi Annan wants pledges of immediate aid for tsunami survivors
World leaders have pledged to set up an Indian Ocean early warning system which could save lives in the event of a repeat of Asia's devastating tsunami.

A declaration at the end of the aid conference in Indonesia also urges the UN to mobilise the international community for the relief effort.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called on donors to convert aid pledges into $1bn in cash for urgent use.

Pledges exceed $3bn, but promises have not always been fulfilled in the past.

The leaders said it would take 5-10 years to fully rehabilitate the region.

EU: $30m already being spent on the ground, $132m in short-term aid, $455m for long-term reconstruction
Australia: $810m, distributed over five years, half the sum in loans
Germany: $674m in aid over the next three to five years
Japan: $500m - half in bilateral aid, half through multilateral institutions
US: $350m in debt relief, no timescale given
UK: $96m in aid of which $13m spent so far, hundreds of millions more promised

More than 140,000 people are now known to have died in the disaster, and hundreds of thousands more are homeless.

The EU has increased its aid, pledging 100m euros ($132m) to the immediate effort.

Leaders also called for a special UN representative to be appointed to co-ordinate a global relief programme.

The declaration welcomed an initiative by several Western nations to freeze debt payments from affected countries.

In other developments:

  • The US warns Indonesia that military equipment provided to deal with the disaster should not be diverted to use in the fight against separatist rebels in the northern province of Aceh

  • Reports from Burma say up to 300 people working in the logging industry on islands in the south of the country went missing after the disaster

  • Organisers of a TV fundraiser in Saudi Arabia say it raised $30m for tsunami victims, including a $5m donation from King Fahd, after the government trebled its pledge to $30m.

The declaration, signed by delegates from nations and groups attending the Jakarta conference, pledges to set up a warning system similar to that in the Pacific Ocean to ensure that coastal residents have time to flee to higher ground in the event of a fresh earthquake.

Experts say such a system could have saved many lives after the original 26 December disaster.

Items discussed:
Debt relief: Suspension of payments or forgiveness of debt for affected countries
Reconstruction: Co-ordinating the aid effort and rebuilding process
Tsunami warning: An early warning system for the Indian Ocean

The declaration asks the UN to convene an international pledging conference and explore a standby arrangement for the immediate relief effort.

"This unprecedented devastation needs unprecedented global response in assisting the national governments to cope with such a disaster," it says.

Mr Annan said there was "a race against time" to prevent another sharp rise in the death toll.

The number of fatalities could double if immediate aid did not reach survivors soon, he told delegates.

Shelter: $222m
Food: $215m
Health: $122m
Economic recovery and infrastructure: $110m
Water and sanitation: $61m
Source: UN

The $1bn programme proposed by Mr Annan would include $215m towards food, $222m toward shelter and $122m towards healthcare.

The UN has praised global generosity in responding to the disaster, but there are concerns that promised aid may not come through.

The US said it was disbanding what it called the core group of nations - including India, Australia and Japan - formed to tackle the crisis.

The BBC's Laura Trevelyan at the UN says officials who had feared that the group would duplicate the UN's efforts will be quietly relieved by this move.

1. Indonesia: 94,081
2. Sri Lanka: 30,513
3. India (inc Andaman and Nicobar Is): 9,682
4. Thailand: 5,288
5. Somalia: 298
6. Burma: 64
7. Maldives: 82
8. Malaysia: 67
9. Tanzania: 10
10. Seychelles: 1
11. Bangladesh: 2
12. Kenya: 1

Donor countries respond to UN's request for more cash


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