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World Leaders Gather For Tsunami Summit


6 January 2005 -- World leaders are gathering in Indonesia's capital Jakarta today to discuss coordination of the international aid effort for countries hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami.

Ahead of the meeting, the United Nations' World Health Organization has warned that the tsunami death toll could double to about 300,000 people unless survivors receive clean water and other basic services to prevent disease as soon as the end of this week.

About two-thirds of the estimated 150,000 dead from the tsunami were killed in the Aceh province of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The other hardest-hit nations include India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

The United Nations said that following Australia's pledge of some $760 million in aid, and a pledge from Germany of some $670 million, total international pledges for aid are now nearing $4 billion.

Leaders expected to attend the Jakarta summit include UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, and Japanese Prime Mininster Junichiro Koizumi.

(Reuters/AP/AFP)
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