ARC's Fishing Boat Project: One Year Later

Project has distributed 360 boats to Thai fishermen

December 26, 2005

The American Refugee Committee (ARC) announced today that—one year after the tsunami—its Fishing Boat Project has distributed more than 360 boats to fishermen in Thailand who lost their fishing boats in the tsunami.

 “One year after the tsunami, we are pleased to see the tangible results of a project that has made a real difference in the lives of hundreds of fishermen and their families,” said Gary Dahl, who is ARC’s Thailand Country Director and oversees the project.

ARC worked with local Thai craftsmen, as well as fishermen and their families to rebuild boats lost in the tsunami.  ARC plans to distribute a total of more than 500 boats to fishermen in 14 affected Thai villages. In addition to the 360 boats already distributed, ARC will distribute an additional 135 boats in January 2006.

“We have been humbled by the outpouring of support for the Fishing Boat Project from generous people from  around the entire country and indeed from around the world,” said Hugh Parmer, President of ARC.  Nearly 5,000 individuals and more than 300 schools, churches, businesses, and civic groups contributed to the project.

“We were also honored that the first grant from the Bush-Clinton Tsunami Relief Fund was awarded to the Fishing Boat Project,” added Parmer.  Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton visited the ARC site in February, and announced in August that the ARC Fishing Boat Project would receive a $1 million grant from funds raised through the Presidents’ private fundraising efforts.

On December 26, Dahl will attend local ceremonies with fishermen in the Thai village of Nam Khem to commemorate the tsunami that took nearly 300,000 lives across South Asia and left more than one million homeless.  “Last year there was an overwhelming sense of loss, but this year there is an undeniable feeling of hope,” added Dahl.

About the American Refugee Committee: The American Refugee Committee (ARC) is a Minnesota-based, nonprofit, nonsectarian international humanitarian relief organization.   For more than 25 years, ARC has worked to save and improve the lives of refugees and others uprooted by tragedy in Africa, Southeast and Central Asia, and the Balkans.  ARC currently assists more than one million refugees and displaced people in 12 countries around the world. 

Press Contact: Therese Gales at (800) 875-7060 or


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