One Year After the Tsunami
Published: December 28, 2005
The tsunami that cut a swath of destruction through the Indian Ocean region last year was an extraordinary catastrophe. It struck 12 countries and displaced more than two million people, according to the United Nations, destroying their livelihoods, tearing apart families, annihilating entire towns. The ensuing natural disasters that have followed in the 12 months since then - from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to the earthquake in Kashmir - have been measured against the horror of the number left dead by the Indian Ocean tsunami: at least 183,172.
The tsunami also generated a record $13.6 billion in pledges for immediate and regional aid, and long-term help for specific countries. About three-quarters of that aid has actually been secured. Clearly, the world can make good on its promises when it wants to.
Indeed, the pledges actually exceed the initial requests for help. According to the United Nations Office of the Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, the estimate of the amount needed for long-term tsunami recovery in each of the affected countries was $10.12 billion, and the amount pledged was $10.51 billion. Indonesia, which was hit the hardest, needs an estimated $5.5 billion; it got $6.5 billion in pledges. Sri Lanka asked for $2.15 billion; it got promises of almost $3 billion.
Given the devastation involved and the extreme poverty of many victims, the money pledged is by no means over the top. But the agencies entrusted with spending the donations have a special responsibility to spend wisely.
There's some good news: swift intervention by aid groups prevented major outbreaks of disease. A tsunami early warning system in the Indian Ocean region, which would prepare every country's weather service to receive warnings, should be ready for installation in mid-2006. In Sri Lanka and Indonesia, nearly all of the children affected by the tsunami are back in school. [read on...]
via the UNDP & Tsunami Recovery page:
UNDP has published a report on its assistance to the tsunami recovery and reconstruction efforts for the past year. It is meant to provide examples of how UNDP is helping people who survived the tsunami rebuild their lives now, and for the future.
Wikimedia Commons: Media, Maps, Photos, Diagrams, etc. related to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake