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World Leaders Pledge to Help Tsunami Victims - 2005-01-06


World leaders have pledged to work together to help countries devastated by last week's tsunami.

The leaders, in a declaration issued today (Thursday) at the end of a one-day crisis summit in Indonesia, also supported the creation of a tsunami early warning system for the Indian Ocean to prevent future tragedies.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan told delegates that nearly one billion dollars in aid money need to be spent right now to help the tsunami victims. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said unprecedented disaster requires an unprecedented response.

U.N. officials say between three and four billion dollars in aid money has already been pledged, and a massive effort is underway to get food, water and medical care to people in remote areas of 11 countries hit by the tsunami.

Meanwhile, the European Union plans to pledge an additional 461 million dollars in aid to victims of the tsunami disaster.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told reporters in Jakarta that he will ask the European Parliament to approve the pledge, which will be used for longer-term reconstruction.

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