- On 17 July, the Government of Indonesia (GoI) and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) reached an agreement in Helsinki to end the conflict. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) detailing a "peaceful, comprehensive and sustainable solution" to the 30-year old hostilities will be signed 15 August 2005. The European Union (EU) and the Association of South- East Asian Nations (ASEAN) expressed readiness to field a monitoring mission once the MOU is signed.
- BRR (Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency) says it will use its core duties of planning, approval and monitoring to reinforce the peace agreement between GoI and GAM.
- On 14 July, Kuntoro Mangkusubroto (Head of BRR) made the decision to use the Development Assistance Database (DAD). DAD is already being used by Thailand, Sri Lanka and the Maldives as the basis of project implementation monitoring.
- A working group on transitional shelter was formed in Banda Aceh. It is chaired by IFRC and formulating consolidated action plans to address the issue. Please refer to Focus on Urgent Transitional Shelter Needs of IDPs in Aceh and Nias (page 4).
On 4 July, BRR issued new instructions to Immigration control in Banda Aceh and Medan with regards to the visas on arrival in North Sumatra and Aceh. Recipients of these visas can get them extended for an additional 30 days on the recommendation of BRR.
With the new peace agreement reached in Helsinki, BRR says that the peace process has made substantial progress and will have a positive impact on reconstruction. BRR will not only continue to focus its efforts on Sumatra's affected coastline, but will also address GAM-influenced areas as part of reconstruction, earlier than previously planned. BRR will use its core duties to reinforce the peace process wherever relevant.
BAKORNAS (National Coordinating Board) announced that the current BAKORNAS Secretariat would be transformed into an implementing/operations agency that will take on the new role of emergency first response team. This is in addition to its ongoing responsibilities as a coordination agency. BAKORNAS new role will be formally established through a Presidential Decree.
In preparation for its new mandate, BAKORNAS requested that the UN hold a joint emergency management contingency planning exercise with the Government of Indonesia. In order to set the groundwork for such an exercise, a three-day training of facilitators took place (26 - 28 July) in Jakarta. This workshop was funded by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Analysis on the results of the workshop will be forthcoming in the next situation report.
This will be followed up by a district level training session at the end of August. Five shoreline districts in West Sumatra will participate in this exercise.
The new Secretary of BAKORNAS, Gembon Trijono, started his duties 1 July.
Updates on Aceh and Nias
Humanitarian Action Forum - A district-level coordination mechanism to address gaps in immediate humanitarian needs
As the emergency phase in tsunami-affected areas moves into its seventh month, relief efforts begin to transition into early recovery work; the existing coordination mechanisms are now shifting to focus on long-term recovery and reconstruction. However, extensive immediate humanitarian needs persist. There is an urgent need for transitional shelter (something sturdier than tents) for IDPs until permanent shelters are constructed. Meeting these needs requires an appropriate coordination mechanism that identifies ongoing humanitarian requirements and matches them as accurately as possible with available resources.
A joint OCHA/HIC/UNDP assessment mission in late June visited several affected districts to review the effectiveness and dynamics of the current coordination mechanisms and information flows at various governmental levels, and proposed the establishment of the "Humanitarian Action Forum (HAF)". The main objectives of HAF are:
- Provide a mechanism at the district
level to systematically identify and address the immediate shortterm needs
of IDPs; and
- Monitor progress in implementation of the committed resources.
These needs are then presented at monthly HAF meetings, attended by the Bupati (district chief), SATKORLAK (provincial development planning board), BRR, UN agencies, donors, NGOs and other key actors that are presently working or interested in working in the district.
At each meeting, HAF aims to ensure that commitments are made to address unmet needs and monitor progress. OCHA will initially chair the meeting but will hand over chairmanship to Bupati as the HAF mechanism becomes institutionalized.
Key actors, including the provincial government, BRR, SATKORLAK, Bupatis as well as the humanitarian community, welcomed the proposal. The initial round of HAF meetings commenced 21 July in Jantho, the district capital of Aceh Besar. At the Jantho meeting, some 66% of the immediate IDP needs, presented to approximately 30 participants, received commitments for further assessment and necessary actions. Similar meetings are scheduled for Banda Aceh and Pidie for the next week.
A key lesson learned at the first meeting was to ensure that collected data is distributed to participants prior to the meeting. The objective is to allow time for participants to prepare their organization's response and present it at the meeting.
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)
According to the latest figures by SATKORLAK, the total number of IDPs affected by the earthquake/tsunami of 26 December 2004 stands at 518,450 in Aceh Province, as of 7 July. Among them, approximately 58% live with host families, 30% in tents and the rest in Transitional Living Centres (TLCs) (temporary accommodation built by the government). A small movement out of tents and into host families or TLCs has been observed since the last count.
The number of IDPs in Aceh Singkil and Simeuleu, as a result of the earthquake of 28 March, stands at 55,604.
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