News

    Powell Heading for Tsunami Disaster Areas

    Multimedia

    Audio

    World leaders will meet in Indonesia Thursday to discuss aid for victims of last week's earthquake and tsunami disasters. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Colin Powell has left for Asia to visit some of the stricken areas in Thailand and Indonesia before going to the Jakarta conference.

    Shortly before departing Sunday, Secretary Powell told CNN's Late Edition he believes the U.S. response to the devastation in Asia was prompt and generous. "This disaster took place just seven days ago. And during the first 24 hours, I called every single foreign minister of the affected nations, and said to them, the United States wants to help, the President stands ready to help. You let our embassies know what you need," he said.

    The death toll from the 9.0 earthquake and the following tsunami is expected to surpass 150,000 people, in countries surrounding the Indian Ocean.

    Washington has pledged $350 million in relief aid. But Secretary Powell said the U.S. contribution surpasses the official monetary figure. "Beyond the $350 million, our Department of Defense is spending tens of millions of dollars more, as we dispatched two carrier groups, a regular big aircraft carrier groups and a Marine amphibious group, to the region. And private donations are significant," he said.

    The U.S. delegation to the stricken area includes President Bush's brother, Jeb Bush, who is the governor of Florida. The southeastern state was devastated by four hurricanes this year.

    Speaking on the ABC television program This Week, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan said he believes it will take years for some countries to recover. "It will differ from country to country, but my own sense is you probably have five to 10 years, and billions of dollars, because the devastation is enormous," he said.

    The U.N. leader also will go to the international aid conference in Jakarta. Afterwards, U.N. officials say Mr. Annan will visit the hard-hit Indonesian island of Sumatra and Sri Lanka.

    Meanwhile, the World Health Organization's David Nabarro told CNN caring for the injured is at the top of his agenda. "That's priority one. But then, for the whole population, as you've said, it's clean water. We've got to make sure water supplies are not polluted with feces and that sanitation is improved. Perhaps that's proving to be particularly challenging in Indonesia, and it's not easy in Sri Lanka," he said.

    Dr. Nabarro said the WHO is worried about cholera and dysentery, but has no confirmed reports of either illness yet. "And malaria incidence is not yet noted on the increase, but we are very worried about Aceh, because it's the rainy season, and it's the time when malaria does start to pick up. So, at the moment, [we hope], we have not got reports of epidemics, but it would be foolish of us to assume we're through the worst. Indeed, it's during the next week that we really have to be most concerned," he said.

    Dr. Nabarro said there has been an increase in the number of cases of diarrhea in stricken areas around the region. The head of the United Nations Children's Fund, Carol Bellamy, told CNN diarrhea is especially a problem for children. "Diarrhea is something we've all had if we've traveled. But in children, it can lead to dehydration and to death. And this is something that can have an enormous impact on children," she said.

    The Indonesian ambassador to the United States, Boemadi Brotodiningrat, listed other priorities. "Well, apart from food and medicines, we need shelter, because there are so many buildings which are destroyed. So, all those refugees are sheltered basically in the open area and we need tents for them," he said.

    The Indonesian ambassador said his country also needs international help developing better communications.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora