Thursday, February 01, 2007

Final Tsunami funds for Indonesia, Maldives, India

Convening this week under the chairmanship of Asian Football Confederation President and FIFA Executive Committee member Mohamed Bin Hammam (Qatar), the FIFA Tsunami Task Force allocated the remainder of the US$ 10.55 million the international football family raised in the light of the tragic events that struck parts of Asia and Africa in December 2004 to reconstruction projects in the six FIFA member associations that were affected (Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Thailand). During the meeting in Zurich, the task force approved three new projects in India, Indonesia and Maldives at a combined cost of US$ 1.44 million. These projects include the creation of various facilities, such as new training centres and dressing rooms, and the reconstruction of a stadium to replace the infrastructure destroyed by the tsunami.

The new project in India is the construction of a football stadium in Port Blair, including a spectator gallery, an administration building and changing rooms, as part of the objective to reconstruct football facilities in Andaman and Nicobar Islands which were mostly distroyed by the tsunami. This will be the main project done in India, and the cost estimation is that most of the total amount of US$ 1 million which was allocated to India as part of the FIFA/AFC Tsunami Solidarity Fund will be dedicated to this project.

In the case of Maldives, the new project approved is the construction of changing room facilities and floodlights at the new artificial turf pitch on Addo Island. The estimated costs will be close to US$ 385.000. This is part of the total allocation given by the Tsunami Task Force for reconstruction projects to Maldives, with a total amount of approximately US$ 1.5 million.

Finally, in the case of Indonesia, the new project is the provision of turf equipment and training for groundkeepers in Banda Aceh. This project, with estimated costs close to US$ 70.000, will serve to complete the exisiting projects in Aceh. The total funds allocated for reconstruction projects in Indonesia were close to US$ 3.5 million.

Following the approval of these final three projects, the full balance of the FIFA/AFC Tsunami Solidarity Fund has now been assigned to reconstruction initiatives. The fund was launched on the basis of immediate donations of US$ 2 million and US$ 1 million from FIFA and the AFC respectively. UEFA pledged US$ 1 million soon afterwards and thanks to various other donations from across the world as well as the "Football for Hope" solidarity match in Barcelona, the total raised ultimately reached US$ 10.55 million.

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