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Two Years After Deadly Tsunami, Southeast Asia Still Recovering

Two years after a tsunami devastated Southeast Asia, the region's hardest hit areas continue to deal with the aftermath. Regional experts discuss efforts to restore the economy and society in the most affected areas.

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  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    Around the region today, mourners marked the two-year anniversary of the disaster with ceremonies. Thailand honored its dead by releasing thousands of lanterns that drifted into the night sky along the southern coastal beaches.

    In addition to the hundreds of thousands of lives lost, some 2 million people in the region were left homeless. To date, of the 400,000 homes destroyed, about 150,000 have been restored.

    Donors have pledged $13 billion toward immediate and long-term recovery and reconstruction, but much of that money has still not been spent, and frustration over the pace of rebuilding continues in some areas.

    For more, I'm joined by two people who work in the region. Eric Schwartz is the United Nations' deputy special envoy for tsunami recovery. He's traveled to the region multiple times since the tsunami, most recently with former President Bill Clinton.

    And Sara Henderson is the president of Building Bridges to the Future, a foundation she created after the tsunami to help rebuild a small village of 170 people in Aceh, Indonesia.

    And welcome to both of you.