Indonesia: Disaster Management Reference Handbook (June 2018)

Executive Summary

Indonesia is located along the Pacific Ring of Fire and faces many natural threats including earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, flooding, and droughts. The country has experienced an average of 290 significant natural disasters annually over the last 30 years.3 This includes the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami which killed approximately 220,000 people across four countries, 167,000 in Indonesia alone, and cost an estimated $10 billion in damages.4

Indonesia has experienced an unusually high number of floods and landslides since May 2016 which strains the coping capacity of the affected population, and has an effect on their ability to respond to the potential disasters in the near future. Eastern parts of Indonesia received double the normal rainfall levels as compared to the same time the previous year.5 While the Government of Indonesia is likely to announce that they have the capacity to respond to short and long term needs created disasters, they do welcome technical assistance from the international community, particularly for relief aid and logistics management, as they did in the November 2013 flooding that affected over 100 villages.6

The Indonesian government has reformed its laws, policies, and institutions to better manage disaster risk since the significant 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.7 The Government of Indonesia now has contingency plans for every disaster-prone city which identifies its vulnerabilities, outlines the relief response, and builds overall preparedness.8 In 2007, the government introduced a disaster management bill that incorporated disaster management prevention into disaster management response.9 In 2008, Indonesia created the National Disaster Management Agency (Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana, BNPB).10 The new shift led to the strengthening of the country’s disaster management agency, and the addition of district branches and representatives. Despite the progress made, more work is needed at the local level as well as integration of disaster risk reduction in government departments.11 Under Indonesia’s 2007 Disaster Management law, provincial and district administrations are mandated to head disaster management during a crisis. However, the BNPB and the military are prepared to step in when requested.12

In addition to national response to the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, there are regional responses. The region, assisted by international donors established a Tsunami Early Warning System and it provides alerts through three regional watch centers in Indonesia, India, and Australia. There is also a network of 26 national tsunami information centers in place.13

Indonesia has been experiencing steady economic development and a rising Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which has made it possible for the Government of Indonesia to fund most health services in the country and it is in a position where it no longer needs the financial support of development banks and partners. The health of Indonesians has improved substantially over the last few decades. Indonesia has lowermiddle-income (LMIC) country status.14 However, while the country has reduced poverty over the last 20 years, many residents hover just above the poverty line. Recovery from a disaster can easily put them and the country back below the poverty line. The Indonesian government spends between $300 million-$500 million annually on recovery efforts following natural disasters.15