The Singapore Red Cross Society which established the Tidal Waves Asia Fund to help victims of the 2004 tsunami has reported good progress on various reconstruction projects.
A total of S$88 million were raised and so far S$83 million have been committed to rebuilding homes, schools and hospitals in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Maldives.
But the Singapore Red Cross has decided to end the funding programme.
Chairman of the Singapore Red Cross Society Winston Choo said, "We will stop taking in more projects because I feel that we need that five million to be set aside in the event that there'll be cost over-run. We have, over the life of this activity, found that inflation has been creeping in (by) leaps and bounds, so it's necessary for us to set aside some money for possible cost over-run."
"What we have done so far is to give them a lift. In the end, it's important that… local government can go on to do the work themselves," he added.
The Singapore Red Cross is confident that the funds have been well spent, and it has also put in place measures to ensure that the money is properly managed.
From desalination plants in Maldives to schools and a pier in Meulaboh, Indonesia, to houses in Sri Lanka, about half of the projects have been completed.
And the Singapore Red Cross expects most of the projects to be ready by December next year, with some hospital construction and government projects to be concluded in June 2009.
Although funding stops, the work continues.
Mr Choo said, "We've helped to build kindergartens, build schools. What we would like to be able to do is to send Singaporeans across to share skills with the people there and to bring across some of the teachers from there."
The Singapore Red Cross also hopes that non-government organisations and welfare organisations will continue to play their part to help those in need.
Source: Channel News