The Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami that struck on 26 December 2004 created an unprecedented challenge for the United Nations and the world at large. At the same time, it started a new era of increased cooperation in response in the humanitarian sector.
In view of the volume of funds that were received in OCHA's account as well as the number of donors, the Tsunami Trust Fund was established as a separate Trust Fund to allow for optimal monitoring of the utilisation of the funds. In a joint effort with the United Nations country teams and the IASC Tsunami Task Force, OCHA has directed these funds to a number of UN Agencies to assist the victims in rebuilding their livelihoods after this disaster.
As a result, OCHA has managed the Tsunami Trust Fund on behalf of more than 60 public and private donors and 14 recipient organisations and has performed an advisory role for all issues related to the utilisation of the funds.
This endeavour has provided an excellent opportunity to apply the principles of the UN Humanitarian Reform in several ways:
- The establishment of integrated UN coordination structures has been supported by OCHA and other agencies in the main Tsunami operations in Sri Lanka and Indonesia;
- The role of Humanitarian Coordinators was strengthened as they played an important role in the selection of the most appropriate projects to receive funding, and, when needed, endorsement of their extension beyond the initial timeframe;
- Transparency on financial flows has been enhanced through OCHA's Tsunami Expenditure Tracking System and UNDP's Development Assistance Databases initiatives.
The fact that the world was caught off-guard by the disaster gave, together with the Darfur emergency, impetus to the creation of the Central Emergency Response Fund as an instrument for adequate, timely and flexible humanitarian financing. The CERF was approved by consensus by the UN General Assembly almost one year after the Tsunami and has benefited from the experience gained by OCHA in managing the Tsunami Trust Fund.
Our aim with this report is to provide an overview of the projects granted by the Trust Fund and how these projects have helped to improve the situation of the many thousands of victims of the disaster.
I would like to thank you donors, Governments, corporations, or private persons, for your generous and timely contributions to the Tsunami Trust Fund.
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator
See also related documents for this report at: http://ochaonline.un.org/humanitarianappeal/webpage.asp?Page=1516
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.