More than 50 guests attended “Tsunami Recovery: Five Years Later,” a presentation given on November 4 by Gerald Anderson, Senior Director of the American Red Cross Tsunami Recovery Program (TRP). The Manhattan home of Yvonne Liu, a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Red Cross in Greater New York, served as the setting for Mr. Anderson’s talk. The presentation was augmented by large photographs by Daniel Cima set up as panels around the room to provide further context to the presentation.
Mr. Anderson, who has been with International Red Cross since 1992, was deployed to Indonesia just days after the deadly December 26, 2004 tsunami caused a massive loss of life and devastated areas in more than a dozen countries across Asia and East Africa. He explained how the TRP was created as a response to this enormous disaster, how the American Red Cross and its sister societies around the world provided volunteers and significant funding, and how the Red Cross has used the program as a vehicle to help thousands of people to rebuild their lives.
The TRP, slated to end in 2010, has six key program areas: water and sanitation, psychosocial support, health, shelter, livelihoods and disaster preparedness. As a result of initiatives in each of these areas, tens of thousands of families now have access to clean water, and thousands have moved from temporary shelters into permanent homes. “Five years after the tsunami,” said Mr. Anderson, “survivors are embracing a brighter future.”