The Indian Ocean Tsunami, 10 Years On: Lessons from the response and ongoing humanitarian funding challenges | Tsunami

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The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was a pivotal moment for the humanitarian sector
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  OXFAM RESEARCH REPORTS 18 DECEMBER 2014 www.oxfam.org   THE INDIAN OCEAN TSUNAMI, 10 YEARS ON Lessons from the response and ongoing humanitarian funding challenges Evacuation signs showing the way to Tsunami safety points. These were erected after the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004. Lho-nga village, District Aceh Besar, Aceh Province, Sumatra, Indonesia (2014).   Photo: Jim Holmes/Oxfam. The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was a pivotal moment for the humanitarian sector; many lessons were learned and the humanitarian system was strengthened as a result. However, ten years on, significant challenges remain. Using the case of the tsunami  –  a rare example of a well-funded humanitarian emergency  –  this report looks at key lessons from the response and examines why some emergencies receive rapid, generous funding while others remain virtually ignored by the international community. As humanitarian need increases, it is imperative that the global community continue to work towards adequate, needs-based funding, and strives to reduce the costs and human impacts of future humanitarian emergencies.  2 The Indian Ocean Tsunami, 10 years on CONTENTS Glossary ......................................................................................... 3   Summary ........................................................................................ 4   1   Introduction .............................................................................. 7   2   Social and economic impacts of the tsunami ........................ 8   3   The largest-ever privately funded response ........................ 11   4   Lessons Learned and subsequent changes ........................ 17   5   Ongoing challenges in the funding system ......................... 25   6   The factors that drive international funding ........................ 31   7   Conclusions ........................................................................... 37   Appendix ...................................................................................... 39   Notes ............................................................................................ 42    The Indian Ocean Tsunami, 10 years on 3 GLOSSARY Capacity building: The process by which people, organizations and societies increase their ability to achieve objectives and effectively handle their development needs. Disaster risk reduction (DRR):  Reducing the impact of natural threats like earthquakes, floods, droughts and cyclones through prevention and preparation. 1   Domestic humanitarian response : Emergency humanitarian response from domestic governments, security and armed forces, local non-government organizations (NGOs), religious organizations and local people. 2   Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) : Run by an independent research organisation, Development Initiatives, the Global Humanitarian Assistance programme analyses humanitarian financing in order to promote transparency and a shared evidence base to meet the needs of people living in humanitarian crises. Government funding:  International giving from governments and the European Commission. This type of funding is often channelled through institutional donors  –  i.e. multilateral agencies such as the United Nations. 3   International humanitarian response: Emergency humanitarian response from the international community, including governments, individuals, NGOs, trusts, foundations, companies, and other private donors as well as military and security forces. 4   Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) : OCHA is the UN body responsible for mobilising and coordinating humanitarian action in order to ease human suffering in disasters and emergencies. The organization also advocates for the rights of people in need and promotes emergency preparedness and prevention. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC):  OECD DAC is an international forum that includes many of the world‟s wealthiest nations and largest donor governments. Private funding: International giving from individuals, trusts, foundations, companies and other private organizations. 5   Resilience:  Ability of a system, community or society to resist, absorb, accommodate to and recover from the effects of a hazard in a timely and efficient manner. 6  Tsunami Evaluation Coalition (TEC) : TEC comprised a group of international donors, UN agencies, NGOs, and research institutes that conducted joint evaluations of the international response to the Indian Ocean tsunami. Reports were published between 2006 and 2007. UN-coordinated Appeals:  Any humanitarian appeals coordinated by the UN, including Strategic Response Plans (SRPs), previously known as Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) appeals. 7   UN Financial Tracking Service (UN FTS) : UN FTS is a global database of humanitarian funding compiled and managed by OCHA. Data are self-reported by donors, UN agencies, OCHA, the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) and NGOs.  4 The Indian Ocean Tsunami, 10 years on SUMMARY The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was an unprecedented event both in its scale and in the record level of private funding for the relief and recovery effort. An estimated $13.5bn in donations poured in from the international community with roughly 40 percent from private individuals and organizations  –  making the tsunami the highest-ever privately funded emergency. The high level of international funding allowed humanitarian agencies to mobilize a rapid response and was sufficient to cover the costs of both immediate relief and long-term recovery.   In fact, the tsunami was Oxfam‟s largest -ever humanitarian response, with the organization and its partners benefiting an estimated 2.5m people across seven tsunami-affected countries over a five year period, from 2004 to 2009. The tsunami response was also a pivotal moment for the humanitarian sector. It provided valuable lessons about gaps in the humanitarian system, particularly around the dynamics that influence international funding. Using the case of the Indian Ocean tsunami  –  a rare example of a well-funded humanitarian emergency  –  this report examines why some humanitarian emergencies receive rapid, generous funding while others remain virtually ignored by the international community. These dynamics are particularly relevant today, as the world grapples with an unparalleled number of high-profile humanitarian crises. INSUFFICIENT AND INEQUITABLE FUNDING Humanitarian assistance represents vital, life-saving support designed to meet the most basic needs of people in crisis, including food, clean water and shelter. While the tsunami received a record level of private donations, this level of response is rare. In fact, international funding has often failed to meet humanitarian needs, and there are significant inequalities in terms of the level and speed of funding for different emergencies. Insufficient funding overall ã  Over the past decade, international funding has consistently failed to meet one-third of the humanitarian need outlined in UN-coordinated appeals. ã  While funding for UN-coordinated appeals reached $8.5bn in 2013, it was still only enough to meet 65 percent of the global humanitarian needs outlined in the appeals. ã   The funding gap for UN-coordinated appeals is large, but not insurmountable. In 2013, the funding gap was roughly $4.7bn: less than the combined gross domestic product (GDP) that accrues to the 34 OECD countries in one hour, less than one day‟s co mbined profits for Fortune 500 companies, and less than the retail value of two weeks of food waste in the USA.   Inequalities in funding for different emergencies ã  In a typical year during the past decade, the highest-funded UN-coordinated appeals had four times the percentage of need met than the lowest-funded appeals. ã  More than twice the percentage of needs were met in the month after the launch of the UN Indian Ocean tsunami appeal than in the month after the typhoon Haiyan (Philippines) appeal.   ã  Private funding for UK Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeals averages $107m (£67m) for natural disasters; more than three times the average amount for conflict-related crises ($34m (£21m)).
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