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Aceh tsunami reconstruction chief raps NGOs

Written by: Staff

JAKARTA, Mar 13 (Reuters) The head of Indonesia's tsunami reconstruction programme today threatened to throw out international aid agencies from the devastated province of Aceh if they didn't submit progress reports by June.

Some international aid groups have exaggerated their work in the multi-billion dollar reconstruction programme in Aceh, Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, the chief of the BRR, the government agency in charge of rebuilding, told Reuters.

''There is a German NGO (non government organisation) that has made a report saying they had built more than 100 houses, but they just built three or five houses,'' Mangkusubroto said.

He declined to name the aid group.

Last week, Mangkusubroto had been quoted as criticising US-based aid group CARE for not following through on pledges but today said he had received a good response from the agency.

''We held a follow up meeting... they've done a good job,'' Mangkusubroto said without elaborating.

On December. 26, 2004, a magnitude 9.15 earthquake -- the biggest in the world in four decades -- triggered a tsunami that left up to 232,000 people dead or missing in a dozen Indian Ocean nations, including nearly 170,000 in Aceh alone.

Half a million people were left homeless in Aceh, on the northern tip of Sumatra island.

Up to 67,000 people are still living in makeshift tents scattered throughout the province and other areas hit by the tsunami.

The BRR aims to build 120,000 permanent houses, including up to 78,000 completed this year.

Around 30,000 permanent houses have been built throughout Aceh and other nearby tsunami-hit areas of Indonesia so far.

Some aid agencies planned to build houses in 2008, which was unacceptable because people needed them now, Mangkusubroto said.

''To those agencies which had pledged to build houses, they must submit reports detailing numbers (and the) when and where of their reconstruction efforts. Otherwise they must not be in Aceh,'' he said.


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