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Highlights

In December 2004, an earthquake off the coast of Indonesia caused a tsunami that left more than 230,000 people killed or missing and presumed dead and an estimated $10 billion in damage in 12 countries. In May 2005, Congress appropriated $908 million for relief and reconstruction. U.S. emergency relief efforts budgeted at $327 million were nearly completed in December 2005. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) plans to spend $496 million on longer-term reconstruction, focusing on Indonesia and Sri Lanka, with the remaining $85 million allocated to other U.S. agencies. GAO has been mandated to monitor USAID's reconstruction efforts. In this report, GAO describes USAID's (1) progress in Indonesia and Sri Lanka, (2) financial and technical oversight measures, and (3) implementation challenges.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of State On the basis of our initial review of USAID's design and implementation of its tsunami reconstruction programs in Indonesia and Sri Lanka, especially regarding its signature road project in Indonesia and bridge project in Sri Lanka, the Secretary of State, in the department's required semiannual report to Congress due in June 2006, should provide updated cost estimates and schedules obtained from USAID. If the updated information differs substantially from initial projections, the report should also include alternative cost estimates, schedules, and project scopes and the need for additional sources of funding, if necessary.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2006, GAO recommended (FOREIGN ASSISTANCE: USAID Has Begun Tsunami Reconstruction in Indonesia and Sri Lanka, but Key Projects May Exceed Initial Cost and Schedule Estimates (GAO-06-488), April 14, 2006) to the Secretary of State that the Department's required semiannual report to Congress due in June 2006, provide updated cost estimates and schedules obtained from USAID. In its June 2006 report, State provided updated cost estimates and schedules obtained from USAID.

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