Director-General travelogue

Indonesia and Sri Lanka
4-8 January 2005

Dr Lee talks to injured survivors of the earthquake and tsunami
Dr Lee talks to injured survivors of the earthquake and tsunami in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.

The following photo gallery profiles Dr LEE Jong-wook's visit to two of the countries worst affected by the Asian tsunami – Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

On the Indonesian island of Sumatra, Dr Lee visited the northern province of Aceh together with the WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia, Dr Samlee Plianbangchang. Drs Lee and Plianbangchang helped to assess the damage, evaluate the relief efforts under way, and identify how WHO can further assist in protecting and improving the health of people in Aceh and in other parts of the region. Aceh is the area most directly and seriously affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

In the provincial capital Banda Aceh, Dr Lee was joined by UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy and Louis Michel, the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid. Together, they ventured out to see first-hand the magnitude of the destruction and to assess the needs of the people.

"The spirit with which people are responding is extraordinary"

-- Dr LEE Jong-wook

During the second stage of his visit, Dr Lee witnessed the devastation caused by the tsunami in the coastal regions of Sri Lanka, and praised the efforts of local people to rebuild their shattered lives and communities. Dr Lee was accompanied by Sri Lankan Health Minister Nirmal Siripala de Silva and the WHO Representative in Sri Lanka, Dr Kan Tun. Together, they went to Kalmunai as well as the devastated southern town of Galle, to continue to assess the extent of the devastation and more effectively plan WHO's response to the local populations.

Photo gallery: Director-General travelogue