The Solidarity Fund in Action: Natural Disaster

1. Tsunami project on skills development and vocational training in Aceh, Indonesia

Implementation and completion date: September 2005 - March 31, 2007
Aim and objective:
To provide skills and vocational to Acehnese people who were affected by the Tsunami disaster of 26th December 2005.

A total of 930 trainees (537 men and 473 women) were beneficiaries of more than 25 types of courses provided under the project.

2. Tsunami project on skills development and vocational training in India

Phase 1: ILO/ITUC-AP/GUFs/INTUC/HMS Tsunami Project
Implementation and completion: December 2006-March 2008. Some 1220 trainees benefited from the project under phase 1 more than 40 types of courses

Phase 2: Irish trade Union Congress/ ILO/INTUC/HMS Tsunami Project
Implementation and completion: April 2008 to middle of 2009
The projected is targeted to benefit 3,000 beneficiaries including training of trainers and organizing workers in the informal economy.

Summary of the Tsunami Project Activities on Skills Development and Vocational Training, India and Indonesia
In the aftermath of the Tsunami disaster of 26th December 2004 and in response to the AP’s appeal for donations, an amount of U.S.$, 1,015.678.00 was received from affiliates namely, CMTU, FKTU, JTUC and PWF. Immediate visits to affected places were arranged including an emergency aid in cash was disbursed to assist the affiliates concerned like the INTUC, HMS and CWC in their immediate relief activities. In line with the ITUC decision, in July 05 an AP Tsunami Solidarity Fund Committee was formed in collaboration with GUFs for more effective use of available resources. Several meetings were organised by this Committee with affiliates, friendly organisations and including with the ILO. Subsequently, an MOU between the AP and the ILO was signed on 15th September 2005 with the aim to provide the necessary infrastructure to for short term skills development and vocational training to victims whose livelihood was predominantly dependant on the fishing industry and to some extent on agriculture and farming.

In collaboration with the ILO, GUFs, INTUC and HMS, two training centres were identified, one at Cuddalore and the second in Nagapatinam in Tamil Nadu, India. Similarly, in collaboration with the ILO, GUFs and the KSPI, a third training centre was set up in Aceh, Indonesia. After the some initial and difficult ground preparatory work, the project was launched in Chennai, India on 20th December 2005 and on 27th February 2006 in Aceh, Indonesia. The originally estimated targeted number of trainees was 1,500 for each of the three centres. Under this project in Aceh, 930 beneficiaries were trained and the project ended in March 2007. In India, a total 1220 beneficiaries were trained under phase 1 which was completed March 2008. In India, under the on-going Phase 11 of the project which was launched in April 2008, an estimated 3,000 beneficiaries are expected to be trained in various courses and activities with focus on the informal sector. The Phase 11 of the project is expected to be completed sometime in the second half of 2009. In all, more than 40 types of courses including electrical wiring, mechanical and automotive repairs, computer, fish farming, boat repairs, air con service, welding, sewing, toys making, beauty therapist, etc. to name a few were provided. The duration of the courses are between 2 and 8 weeks.

Through the Asian Tsunami Solidarity Committee, the AP also supported the renovation of the Global Union Workers Centre in Aceh. Contribution to the establishment of a computer training centre was also made.

The AP also supported through FTUB 15 5 Burmese workers in Thailand to formally process their work permit documents destroyed or lost during the tsunami disaster.

As at January 2008, in India, the INTUC has opened two new service centres with full time staff and the HMS one service centre with full time staff to cater for their members. It was reported at the Tsunami Project Steering Committee Meeting in February 08, that our two affiliates have successful increased their membership (paying) by more than 30,000.

A total of 5,305 trainees are estimated to beneficiaries of the above project (2,305 are beneficiaries recorded to date and another 3,000 are estimated to be trained under Phase 11).

3. Burma Cyclone Crisis
The 3rd May 2008 cyclone left more than 134,000 dead or missing and over 2 million victims homeless. In response to the devastation of the cyclone crisis appeal by ITUC-AP, the AP received donation from CIWA, FKTU, KTUF, JTUC and CWC.

4. Nepal Flood Disaster
In an appeal from NTUC-I Nepal, the ITUC-AP supported the NTUC-I in its relief activities to assist over 400 households affected by the August 2008 floods in the eastern and southern parts of the country.