BURBANK, CA (December 26, 2005) – The December 26, 2004 Asia tsunami

killed 170,000 people in Aceh, Indonesia, left 500,000 others without homes,

and devastated the infrastructure in the region. Today on the one year

anniversary of the tsunami, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono

and other international dignitaries paid their respects to victims of the

tsunami at a special memorial site that Islamic Relief constructed with support

from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Banda Aceh.

The memorial site is designed to allow survivors to remember and honor family

members and friends that died in the tsunami and provide a dignified place for

the deceased. Included in the ceremony was the placing of two

special “growing stones” on the site. This is an Acehnese tradition, and

according to legend, these stones will grow over time along with the

memories of those that have passed away.

The memorial site provides a final resting place for about 14,000 victims of

the tsunami, which represents almost 10% of the total estimated victims of

the tsunami in Aceh and about half of the estimated dead in the Meuraxa sub-

district. Meuraxa was one of the most severely affected areas in Aceh.

Meuraxa sub-district had a population of 31,218 before the tsunami and 84%

of the population are dead or missing.

Islamic Relief and the UNDP worked with survivors of Meuraxa sub-district on

this community project. The project was designed as part of a wider set of

rehabilitation activities implemented by the United Nations agencies to

respond to the needs of the communities in Aceh and Nias. The rehabilitation

of the mass grave acquired support from members of the local community and


Islamic Relief staff in Indonesia and the United States are available for

interview and comments.

Media Contacts:

Arif Khan

Islamic Relief – Banda Aceh, Indonesia


+(62) 815 3421 0262 mobile

**Notes for media professionals planning to cover the event**

Islamic Relief has been constructing homes, building health clinics, rebuilding

schools, providing water, supporting orphans and supporting the people of

Aceh through health, educational and economic development activities.

Islamic Relief’s post-tsunami activities have benefited about 150,000 people

in Aceh. Islamic Relief has partnered with the UN, and many NGOs and donors

from around the world in the reconstruction efforts. Since 2000, Islamic Relief

has been overseeing relief and community development projects throughout

Indonesia. Islamic Relief began tsunami relief operations in Aceh on December

27, one day after the tsunami.

Islamic Relief is an international relief and development organization, with

partner offices in 30 countries across the world. We operate a wide range of

emergency relief and sustainable development projects across the world,

including healthcare, water and sanitation, education, income generation, and

orphan support. For more information, please call or visit our website,


Islamic Relief USA is recognized as a 4-star charity by Charity Navigator, its

highest rating. Charity Navigator is America’s largest charity evaluator.

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