The United Nations says 500,000 people in Indonesia still lack permanent housing nearly one year after the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami.

Officials with the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization's post-tsunami operations say many areas of the hard-hit western coast of Aceh remain a disaster area and sustainable recovery will be a five to 10-year effort.

Despite the massive building efforts still required, officials were upbeat about the overall progress, saying local economies are rebounding.

Also Thursday, the European Commission released an additional $24 million in aid for victims of the disaster, bringing the European Union's total contribution to $148 million. Officials stressed aid is still desperately needed for the hundreds of thousands of people living in temporary camps.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.