BANDA ACEH, Indonesia – United Nations (search) relief workers were feeding more than 1 million people across tsunami-stricken areas of southern Asia, the world body said Thursday.
The U.N. World Food Program (search) said in its latest report on its aid efforts that it has delivered 10,741 tons of food to 1,069,000 people since the waves smashed into coastal communities around the Indian Ocean on Dec. 26 killing more than 150,000 people.
WFP spokeswoman Bettina Luescher said agency workers are feeding 300,000 survivors in Indonesia's Aceh province. Luescher said the number is expected to grow to 500,000 within two weeks.
Still, even more aid is on its way to affected regions. Later Thursday, Australian navy ship HMAS Kanimbla was scheduled to arrive at Banda Aceh (search) loaded with helicopters and reconstruction equipment, as well as engineers.
"Until now our focus has been the provision of life-essential needs of the tsunami survivors such as food, water and medical support. The arrival of the engineering detachment on board the Kanimbla means that we can now start providing reconstruction solutions for the longer term," Australian Defense Minister Robert Hill said in a statement.
Meanwhile, relief coordinators in Aceh said they have buried 75,500 bodies since the disaster. More than 105,000 people were killed in and around Aceh.
The aid effort on Aceh, which has been wracked by a separatist rebellion for nearly three decades, has been hampered by security fears and on Thursday the military said foreign aid workers must take army escorts when visiting much of the region.
Aid organizations also must register their planned movements with Indonesian authorities.
However, Luescher, the WFP spokeswoman, said so far the organization was not using military escorts.
"WFP hopes that these new requirements will not cause a bottleneck in the goal of getting relief supplies to the people who need them and that this aim remains the government's priority," the agency said in a statement.