Friday, 14 December 2007

Field trip to Aceh and in Bali, "on the brink of a deal."

I left the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali on Wednesday as I had to go to tsunami affected province of Aceh where I have the overall supervision of the Red Cross recovery programme. We are colleactively building 40,000 houses (20,000 durable transition shelters completed), livelihood programmes, water and sanitation, risk reduction and other capacitry building programmes for people affected by Tsunami. The President of the French Red Cross, Prof. Jean-Francois Mattei, arrived Thursday night to hand over 600 house built by the French Red Cross, to the people. So today, Friday 14 December it was good to be in the field doing something practical. I love to see the smile on people;s faces when they get the keys for a spanking new house. They are 45 metres squre with 3 rooms and well ventilated. It was so fulfuiling spending such quality time with a man who really cares for people. A pedeatrician for decades, a former Minister of Health in the French Government, and now putting the French Red Cross on the International stage as Prof. Mattei brings sound leadership and has expanded the French Red Cross international work.

We visited a large health centre that the French Red Cross has built and you could see how he was delighted to be amongst children and mothers and talk to them about health matters. We talked awhile and he said to me, " Bob, it is so importantat we cater for not only the body, but the minds and spirit of people for they have been severely traumatised by the Tsunami and its after effects."

This is where the Indonesian Red Cross psycho-social volunteers paly a crucial role councilling people.

So iI got back late tonight from a stimulating field visit and was keen to see how things were going in Bali and saw the following on the BEEB:

The UN climate summit in Bali is "on the brink" of a deal, according to the UN's senior climate official, as talks look set to extend into an extra day.

The EU has been pressing for a final text committing industrialised nations to specified emissions cuts, but the US, Canada and Japan are opposed.


I look forward to the conference in Bali closing today with a road map on climate change that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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