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.
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.