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Boxing Day Tsunami (2004)

The Salvos helped reconstruct and rebuild hundreds of houses Boxing Day Tsuanmi-affected areas.

The fifth deadliest earthquake in recorded history, the Boxing Day Tsunami claimed over 230,000 lives across Asia and Africa, devastating entire cities and towns in Indonesia, India, Thailand, the Maldives and Somalia.

From late 2004 onwards, the Salvation Army became involved in over 20 major relief projects in these regions. Initially, the Salvos' priority was to give emergency relief to victims in particularly devastated areas. Then, the charity expanded their operation to help with the rehabilitation and rebuilding of locations in South Asia and India. 

Australian corporations and individuals donated $6.9 million to the Salvation Army Asia Disaster Relief Appeal. Over 75% of these contributions were disbursed to three tsunami-afflicted areas in southern India: these include the Kerala Tsunami Rehabilitation Project, Tsunami Disaster Redevelopment Program (Kanyakumari and Kadiyapatinam) and the Tsunami Rehabilitation Project (Nagapattinam, Cuddalore and Pondicherry). A further $920,000 was directed towards a child development program and the coastal city of Nagapattinam. The remaining funds were allotted to other projects.  

Because of the tsunami's global impact, Salvation Army offices from India, Norway, Switzerland, Australia and the U.K were involved in the Army's 23 Projects. The Salvos' officers were responsible for monitoring the progress of these projects and evaluating their mid-term expectations for the local regions.

As of March 2007, 19 new borewells were created, around 200 houses were reconstructed, a further 113 were under reconstruction, a community centre was rebuilt and 543 house repairs were completed.

One recipient of the Salvos' charity was Kadiapatinam-resident, Babu. After his home was destroyed, Babu and his family were provided shelter by the Tsunami Relief & Rehabilitation Project, where they were provided food rations, medical relief and some trauma counselling. Later, a new home was reconstructed for Babu's family.

Jan Egeland, the U.N.'s former Under-Secretary for Humanitarian Relief, was responsible for giving relief to over a dozen countries affected by the disaster, and coordinating the various agencies and charities involved in rescuing and rehabilitating those areas.

In January 2005, Egeland told U.S. broadcaster Charlie Rose that the global effort was the best response to a natural-disaster that he had ever witnessed.

'This is the best, the most generous, the most immediate humanitarian response I have ever seen. And the world has ever seen , I think it is going reasonably well in some places.  It is going extraordinarily well in other places where we are facing extraordinary difficulties,' Egeland said.  
Assistance: Mr. Sahayaraj received food and shelter from Salvos staff.