Peace Process continues to move forward
The Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM) completed the verification of the location and strength of organic TNI and police units in Aceh and confirmed on 22 February that the Government of Indonesia (GoI) was in compliance with the Helsinki Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The Council of the European Union decided, at its General Affairs meeting on 27 February, to extend AMM for a further period of three months until 15 June. The conclusions of the meeting also underlined the Council's support to the forthcoming local elections, including the possible deployment of an EU election observation mission.
The 30th meeting of the Commission on Security Arrangements (COSA) for the GoI, GAM and AMM was held on 25 February. The acting Governor of NAD also attended. Of note, AMM expressed its satisfaction with the intension of the GoI to establish a Human Rights Court before 15 June; and with the progress that has been made in clarifying 20 amnesty cases, of which 13 will be released.
The discussion on the draft Law on the Governing of Aceh (LoGA) continues at the House of Representatives. The House has been going through hearings with the acting Governor, GAM representatives, the Aceh legislative council representatives, constitutional law experts, etc. to discuss the revisions and legal implications of the bill. The Helsinki MoU stipulates that the deliberation of the LoGA should be completed by 31 March.
Deputy Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, Eric Schwartz, visited Aceh on 22-23 February. He held meetings with UN Recovery Coordinator, Pak Kuntoro (BRR), civil society representatives (on tsunami recovery and peace process), and BRR officers (private sector, SMEs, micro enterprise; anti corruption). He also undertook site visits where he was briefed, inter alia, on the progress on the Temporary Shelter Plan of Action, logistics common service (WFPSS), and micro finance (ILO). He also visited a boat building site at Kreung Raya which is being sponsored by FAO/ECHO.
UN-Habitat, the secretariat to the provincial Shelter Working Group, conducted a monitoring of permanent houses in partnership with Universitas Syiah Kuala during January-February 2006. The monitoring looked at housing and infrastructure needs, focussing on the quality of what has been provided and the satisfaction level of beneficiaries. The scope of the monitoring covered 300 houses built by 29 organizations in 61 locations in 3 districts (Aceh Besar, Aceh Barat and Pidie). 300 respondents were surveyed. Of note, 48% of the respondents said that the new houses were clearly better than their pre-tsunami houses; with one in five of the respondents stating that they wished to extend the core house as soon as possible. An interesting observation was that the higher rating of construction quality (i.e. price) is not necessarily correlated to the higher level of beneficiary satisfaction with the work of organization.
UN-Habitat has started bi-monthly "Aceh-Nias Housing & Settlements Newsletter" which consolidates SWG discussions, reports and other papers. To subscribe to the email newsletter, contact email@example.com.
A general coordination meeting was held on 9 February with participation of 40 persons from local government, BRR, BAPPEDA, UN and NGOs. BAPPEDA briefed on the regional revenue and expenditure budget (APRD): the regional budget is reportedly IDR134 billion, of which IDR84 billion will be allocated to government offices and public services. The Bupati stated that while MoU for some 12,000 have been signed for the district, only around 1,000 houses have been built thus far. He also raised the issue of land for IDP relocation (e.g., 42 hectares needed for Jaya sub-district, 40 hectares for Sampoiniet).
Canadian Red Cross (CRC) established a sub-field office in Lhok Kruet. German Agri Action (GAA) has established an office in Padang Datar. GAA plans to build 5 schools. Currently, 40 NGOs, 8 UN agencies and 8 donor agencies are active in Aceh Jaya, according to the UNORC Calang data.
Aceh Barat/ Nagan Raya
On 8 February, a full day meeting was organized for BAPPEDA, UNORC and NGOs to inform BAPPEDA on NGO activities while it was preparing its 2006 budget. UNORC will provide BAPPEDA with detailed information on NGO activities that it collected through sub-district coordination meetings.
At the area Shelter Working Group meeting, BRR presented its housing policy. To fill gaps in shelter reconstruction, BRR plans to build 3,000 houses in Aceh Barat and rehabilitate 300, and in Nagan Raya, 1,000 and 500 respectively. The criteria for beneficiary selection are yet to be clarified.
Peace Winds Japan closed the operation on 24 February. FAO will close its office in Meulaboh at the end February and its warehouse by 13 March. UNFPA is closing its Meulaboh office in mid March and will manage activities from Banda Aceh. The UNORC Meulaboh contact list has recorded 33 INGOs, 43 national/local NGOs and 10 UN agencies as active and/or represented in Meulaboh.
Approximately 180 IDP families had to relocate from a camp in Jaran Baru to Korok due to the non-extension of the land lease. Australian Red Cross (AusRC) is providing road, shelters and latrines. The first batch of 60 IFRC shelter kits, intended for these relocated IDPs, arrived in the island on 14 February. A total of 216 kits will be set up for them by AusRC but the site size appears to be insufficient. AusRC is trying to negotiate with the land owners. Thus far, 50 shelter kits have been erected. Save the Children and THW are repairing the water tank on the new site. In the meantime, Concern is trucking water to the sites. Local government is providing school bus service so that the children can continue attending the school nearby the former site. The new site is across from the land where the construction of permanent houses for these IDPs is planned.
UNORC will close its Simeulue office by 3 March but continue coordination out of the Meulaboh office. As a result, the weekly general coordination meetings will take place bi-monthly. Subdistrict coordination meetings will be held regularly, the first of which is scheduled on 1 March for Simeulue Timour and Teupa Barat.
IFRC established its office in Simeulue and the head of office arrived on 17 February. Currently, 13 INGOs, 7 national/local NGOs and 2 UN agencies (WFP, UN-Habitat) have full time presence in Simeulue, according to UNORC. Other UN agencies run activities out of Meulaboh or by visiting the island as needed.
On 20 February, BRR Nias convened a meeting with all shelter implementing agencies to present its new housing strategy for Nias. According to BRR, the housing reconstruction needs for the island is 15,000. 18,337 houses are committed, out of which 478 have been completed and 1,487 are under construction. BRR itself plans to build 7,500 houses in Nias. The housing priority should go to IDPs in tent (1,919 households: BRR figure). Agencies should use IFRC shelter kits for IDPs in tents if they cannot move them out of tents by June 2006. BRR targets the completion of overall housing reconstruction by June 2007 and rehabilitation by December 2007 in Nias.
The election for the Bupati and the Vice Bupati is scheduled for 28 February. Five pairs of candidates including the incumbent Bupati are running for the office. The new Bupati and Vice Bupati will serve for a period of 5 years (2006-2011).
International Medical Corps (IMC) finished its emergency operation as of 1 February. Currently, 56 NGOs and 10 UN agencies are listed in the UNORC Nias contact list.
UNORC IDP Data Collection Projects
Cardi-NRC completed the second round of the sample survey of IDPs living in host communities. The sample size of the second survey was 500 households in 16 districts. In addition to the core questions that were used in the first round of December 2005 (sample size 500 households), additional questions were included this time to gain further qualitative information on the life of these IDPs, in particular, vulnerability, coping mechanism, their plans and trend in their movements. Of the 500 households, 100 households who used to host IDPs were included to gauge the impact of the IDPs on their lives and why the IDPs left.
The initial observations reported by the survey teams include:
- High mobility trend continues among IDPs in host families. The teams found it quite difficult to locate IDPs in host families. Many appeared to have either returned to the places of origin where they rent or have built houses, or moved to other temporary accommodations. The most notable reason for moving out seems to be IDPs' desire for not being prolonged economic burden on host families.
- IDPs in host communities tend to receive less assistance than those in tents, self settlements or TLCs. In particular, minor headed households do not receive assistance.
- In some districts, tsunami-affected IDPs and conflict-affected IDPs co-exist and receive differing level and type of assistance. Tsunami-affected IDPs currently staying in Central Aceh tend fall in the assistance gap as post tsunami assistance hardly reaches these areas. Reports for both surveys are available http://www.humanitarianinfo.org/sumatra and ReliefWeb.
Second Nias Islands Stakeholder Meeting (NISM 2)
The second Nias Islands Stakeholder Meeting (NISM2) was held in Nias on 17-18 January, with attendance by almost 180 participants. At the plenary, BRR reported that the total estimated damage was worth approximately US$400 million. US$1,000 million is needed to build back Nias "better." In order to move forward by building on the results of NISM1, Pak Sbandar, BRR Nias Head, listed as key targets: consolidated baseline data; improved coordination between all stakeholders; creation and implementation of standards; effective distribution of information; and improvement of logistics conditions.
As in the NISM2, breakout sessions were held for key themes: humanitarian and recovery (lead UNORC); housing, logistics and communications (lead BRR); good governance; economic development; and rehabilitation and reconstruction management. Each working group is finalizing strategy and plan of action for 2006 which would form an integrated Nias recovery work plan.
RAN (Recovery Aceh Nias) Database
The second data collection round for the RAN ended on 10 February. Between 23 January and 13 February, 104 organisations updated 374 projects with their progress. BRR Operations Centre also updated a further 208 projects during this period for data cleaning. Almost half of the approved projects in the RAN were updated. 118 organisations received direct support through the drop in centre. The RAN usage figures regularly topped 100 simultaneous users in spite of continued technical difficulties.
Progress has been made in formulating stronger links with donors to support the reporting process of their partners. Donor packs have been created for donors to verify their information. Increased support from donors is still required.
BRR Regional Offices
As part of decentralization, BRR plans to set up regional offices in order to coordinate recovery and reconstruction at the district level. Thus far, BRR regional office managers have been assigned to cover:
- Banda Aceh/Aceh Besar/Sabang
- Aceh Jaya
- Aceh Barat/Nagan Raya/Aceh Barat Daya
- Aceh Singkil/Aceh Selatan
- Lhokseumawe/Aceh Utara/Bireun/Pidie
- Aceh Tenggara/Gayo Lues/Aceh Tengah/Bener Meriah
- Langsa/Aceh Timur/Aceh Tamiang.
Regional office managers report to BRR head of operations, Pak Eddy Purwanto
Tim Terpadu (One Stop Shop)
BRR established Tim Terpadu, or One Stop Shop, to assist the international community working in Aceh and Nias in visa and customs. by providing streamlined process locally. BRR was given authority to officer these services locally by the Presidential regulations (perpres) signed in November.
Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF)
The 8th Steering Committee (SC) for MDTF was held on 17 February in Jakarta. MDTF and BRR agreed on a new joint strategy to finance gaps in infrastructure reconstruction, which co-finance infrastructure projects while engaging local governments. To this end, the SC approved the mobilizations of technical assistance and project management to assist local governments in planning, designing and implementing a portfolio of up to US$1 billion of infrastructure in Aceh and Nias. The SC also initiated a comprehensive infrastructure reconstruction programme for Nias and the west coast of Aceh. The programme could receive grant support of US$42 million.
Also on 17 February, BRR, MDTF, Lauser International Foundation, and Fauna and Flora International signed an agreement for the Aceh Forest and Environment (US$17.53 million). The project aims to prevent further deforestation in the Leuser and Ulu Masen forests by working with local governments and communities while advising reconstruction agencies on sustainable building and recovery practices.
As of 14 February, the SC has endorsed a total of 12 projects and 2 concepts worth US$364.61 million.
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