Tsunami three-years: communities take significant steps towards recovery with support of the Red Cross Red Crescent

Upload your content
photo by Tony_Puerzer
photo by Tony_Puerzer

Three years on from the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has supported thousands of communities around the Bay of Bengal to take significant steps along the road to recovery.

According to the International Federation’s Tsunami three-year progress report – a report that captures the collective efforts of the more than 30 Red Cross and Red Crescent societies involved in the operation – International Federation relief and recovery efforts have reached an estimated 3,873,000 people in ten affected countries.

In addition, more than 21,300 houses have now been built, with a further 18,098 under construction. In all, the Red Cross Red Crescent is committed to building about 51,000 new homes for tsunami survivors.

“Right across the region, we’re seeing real progress. Thousands of houses are being built, along with schools, hospitals and clinics,” said Jerry Talbot, the International Federation’s special representative for tsunami recovery.

“But the important point here is that this progress is a direct result of the careful preparation and planning that was undertaken over the first two years of the operation.”

In addition to physical reconstruction, the International Federation has also been working to address some of the broader humanitarian needs of those whose lives were battered so severely by the terrible waves, including extensive efforts to help people rebuild lost livelihoods.

So far, more than 26,000 families have had assets, such as fishing boats and nets, replaced or enhanced, whilst 32,000 families have received livelihood support grants.

Furthermore, approximately 520,000 people now have access to an improved water source thanks to long-term Red Cross Red Crescent health and care programmes, with 212,000 now having access to improved waste management facilities. A total of 801,000 people have been reached by community based health services.

From a financial view point, progress remains in line with ongoing projections. At the end of September 2007, approximately 1.773 billion Swiss francs had been expended, equating to about 58 per cent of the 3.076 billion Swiss francs raised by the Red Cross Red Crescent.

Projections suggest that by the end of this year, a further 291 million Swiss francs will have been spent (leading to an expected year-end total of 2.064 billion Swiss francs).

The largest amounts have been spent in shelter and community construction, emergency relief and health and care. About 80 per cent of funds have been spent in the three worst affected countries: Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

The Red Cross Red Crescent has also continued to focus on ensuring that affected communities emerge from recovery stronger, and more resilient in the face of future disasters. Across the region, Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers and staff are working with communities, giving them the skills to identify risks and develop disaster plans.

“Despite this progress, our tsunami recovery programme remains a long-term commitment,” cautioned Mr Talbot. “From January 2005 we have said that recover and rehabilitation would take at least five years. This is still the case. A lot of work has been done, but there is still much more to do.

The International Federation expects to have completed all major reconstruction by the end of 2009. The Tsunami three-year report is available for download at www.ifrc.org/tsunami

For further information, or to set up interviews, please contact:

Matthew Cochrane, communications officer in Geneva Tel: + 41 79 308 9804
Media Service Duty Phone (Geneva) Tel: + 41 79 416 3881

The Geneva-based International Federation promotes the humanitarian activities of 185 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies among vulnerable people. By coordinating international disaster relief and encouraging development support, it seeks to prevent and alleviate human suffering. The Federation, National Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross together, constitute the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

© International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Explore further

Country and region Indonesia Maldives Sri Lanka
Share this

Please note: Content is displayed as last posted by a PreventionWeb community member or editor. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of UNDRR, PreventionWeb, or its sponsors. See our terms of use

Is this page useful?

Yes No
Report an issue on this page

Thank you. If you have 2 minutes, we would benefit from additional feedback (link opens in a new window).