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Aceh was one of the hardest hit regions in the 2004 Asian Tsunami. Around two hundred thousand people were killed, and the destruction to the island was immense – about four hundred thousand were left homeless. In the wake of the disaster, huge amounts of aid were pledged around the world. Australia alone promised $1 billion to Indonesia. The money available for Acehnese projects now is also in the billions – certainly more money than the island has ever seen before. Over 500 aid organisations have swarmed to Aceh to help spend this money on reconstruction projects. But Dr Michele Ford, a lecturer in Asian Studies and Indonesian language, says that there’s no one watching how they spend it. And this is leading to less than ideal employment conditions.

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