Representatives of a Mexican alliance which raised more than 4 million dollars for survivors of a tsunami that devastated several Indian Ocean countries in 2004 recently visited Indonesia's Aceh district to see at first hand how the money they raised had benefited hundreds of local people who lost their homes.
Members of the Alianza por Asia (Alliance for Asia) attended a colourful ceremony to celebrate the completion of 1,140 houses in Pidie, Aceh Jaya south of Banda Aceh. They were accompanied by the Vice Governor of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam Province, Mr. Muhammad Nazar and the Mexican Ambassador to Indonesia Mr. Pedro Gonzales Rubio.
The Alianza por Asia was formed in the aftermath of the 2004 Mexican civil society organizations, foundations, companies, financial institutions and communications groups. The campaign raised more than US$ 4 million in private donations from Mexican citizens to support the reconstruction of homes in Indonesia. It represented the first-ever public fundraising opportunity for the people of Mexico to contribute to humanitarian work outside their country. The funds where managed through UNDP and UN-HABITAT.
The funds were channeled to the beneficiaries through UNDP/UN-HABITAT Aceh-Nias Settlements Support Programme, which awards grants for housing reconstruction and community infrastructure rehabilitation. For the Alianza por Asia delegates, their visit to Pidie was a chance to see exactly how their funding helped some of these victims of the Tsunami.