On December 26, 2004, the giant Southeast Asia tsunami destroyed homes, wiped out scores of villages, killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people in a matter of seconds and completely altered the landscape in the region. In the days and weeks following, AmeriCares quickly delivered seven emergency airlifts of medical aid and relief supplies for survivors in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India. But our work didn't end there.
An unprecedented outpouring of support allowed us to establish a long term presence in the region and undertake our largest relief effort to date, investing more than $45 million over the past eight years to rebuild schools, hospitals, water systems and livelihoods for survivors.
Our field office in Colombo, Sri Lanka continues our support of the rebuilding of critical health facilities, with the last of three major hospital additions now underway – a $1 million project for a general hospital in northeastern Sri Lanka.
In the immediate aftermath of the tsunami, AmeriCares delivered seven airlifts, carrying 60 tons of lifesaving medicines, emergency supplies and water purification treatments worth approximately $12 million to Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India.
AmeriCares initial airlifts were followed by a comprehensive, long-term commitment to help restore health and hope to the survivors of this terrible tragedy.
Our work in the tsunami-affected areas has reinforced the importance of the type of aid we are able to provide, both in the immediate aftermath of a disaster and in the long-term recovery efforts Curt Welling, AmeriCares President and CEO
With more than $45 million of resources, AmeriCares established a long-term presence in Sri Lanka, helping to rebuild clinics and hospitals, delivered lifesaving medicines and supplies and trained health care workers throughout the region. We selected projects based on the carefully assessed needs of the affected communities, the impact on each community, and the cost-effectiveness of each investment.
- In 2009, AmeriCares completed a $3.2 million addition onto the District Base Hospital at Elpitiya, doubling the number of beds and adding the first private delivery rooms in the region. The four-story addition included two operating rooms, a blood bank and a blood bank. We also fully equipped the new wing with the necessary medical equipment and furniture.
- In 2012, we completed an 83,000-square-foot addition onto the Trincomalee District General Hospital that adds 250 beds, operating rooms, a laboratory complex and a neonatal intensive care unit. The $2.8 million project expands the hospital’s capacity to treat patients in an area ravaged by the 2004 tsunami and the long-running civil conflict that ended in 2009.
- In June 2012, AmeriCares broke ground on its third and final hospital project in the country – a major addition to the Mullaitivu District General Hospital in northeastern Sri Lanka. When it is completed, the $1 million project will add a 53-bed surgical ward with two operating rooms, recovery area, intensive care unit, physician housing and a central sterilizing facility for all of the hospital’s equipment and supplies.
AmeriCares other tsunami relief efforts in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and India include:
- More than 40 health care facilities built or renovated
- Nearly 100 hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities outfitted with new medical equipment and re-stocked with medicines
- More than 20,000 health care workers trained
- 7,500 families received job training and other livelihood support
- More than 20 schools rebuilt or renovated
- Over 20 water systems built to provide clean water
A new therapeutic playground, supported by funding from AmeriCares, has opened at Lady Ridgeway Hospital in Sri Lanka, equipped with apparatus to enhance physical therapy and make it more enjoyable for children. Eight years after devastating tsunami, AmeriCares’ ongoing programs improve the lives of the people of Sri Lanka.
AmeriCares coordinated with local authorities in Indonesian volcano and tsunami disaster areas to provide treatment for survivors. Relief efforts include supplies for health workers to extend care for the thousands still left homeless.
AmeriCares is mounting relief efforts in Indonesia, where an earthquake and tsunami devastated impoverished coastal communities. Read more.
AmeriCares remembers victims and honors survivors on the fifth anniversary of the Southeast Asia Tsunami with the opening of a new hospital wing. Learn more.
On the day after Christmas in 2004, a giant tsunami killed 225,000 people in a matter of seconds in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and the surrounding region. In the immediate aftermath, AmeriCares delivered seven airlifts, carrying 160 tons of lifesaving medicines, emergency supplies and water purification treatments worth $12 million to Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India.
It has been more than three years since a giant tsunami covered parts of Southeast Asia, devastating communities, reconfiguring lands and permanently changing many people’s lives. AmeriCares personnel in two of the hardest hit countries, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, continue to work tirelessly with those who have been affected, with a wide range of programs supporting a diverse array of needs, including health care, school reconstruction, water and sanitation, and livelihoods.