Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, January 25, 2005

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Tsunami Tragedy: U.S. Relief Efforts
Hyde Schedules Wednesday Hearing on U.S. Aid and Relief
in Southeast Asia Disaster Areas; Draft Legislation in Progress 

BACKGROUND:  On December 26, 2004, off the West Coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia, an earthquake registering magnitude 9.0 on the Richter Scale unleashed tidal waves that affected more than 12 countries in Asia and Africa. Current estimates of the dead and the missing have climbed past 200,000 and include thirty-seven Americans. According to the World Health Organization, as many as five million people lack the basic necessities for survival, including clean food and water. Donor nations have helped establish an extensive relief and recovery effort that includes a U.S. pledge of $350 million and mobilization of the U.S. military in coordination with Australia, India and Japan to provide initial relief logistics. Two U.S. Government interagency task forces have been established: one to coordinate U.S. Government relief efforts and the other to assist in tracking missing Americans. Military assistance includes flights providing relief aid, medical supplies, personnel and equipment to affected areas. On December 29, U.S. Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-IL) announced his intention to draft legislation authorizing a broader U.S. response to the devastation, an effort currently underway. 

WHAT:  Full Committee hearing:  The Tsunami Tragedy:  How the U.S. is Responding and Providing Relief
1:30 p.m., Wednesday, January 26
Room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building
James A. Leach
, Member of Congress; Earl Blumenauer, Member of Congress; Andrew S. Natsios, Administrator, United States Agency for International Development; Alan P. Larson, Under Secretary for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State; Peter W. Rodman, Assistant Secretary, International Security Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense; Brigadier General John Allen, Principal Director for Asian and Pacific Affairs, International Security Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense; Peter Bell, President, CARE; Richard Brennan, Chief of Medical Programs, International Rescue Committee; and Afshan Khan, Deputy Chief of Emergency Programmes, United States Fund for UNICEF, Public Policy and Advocacy.

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