Let the local responder lead in Sulawesi Tsunami Response: Duplication of Mistakes will become Luxury"

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Statement from Alliance for Empowering Partnerships

A series of earthquakes, the strongest 7.4 magnitude, struck Central Sulawesi’s on 28 September, 6pm local time. Indonesian authorities confirmed that a tsunami hit the mainland less then 15 minutes later, striking areas including Palu, the provincial capital, and Donggala, a coastal area to the northwest. Following the earthquake, tsunami and landslides in Central Sulawesi, 2,010 people are known to have died, a further 10,700 people have been seriously injured and 671 people are still missing, as of 9 October (BNPB). However, these numbers are expected to rise steeply in the coming days as more information trickles out of hard-to-reach areas. Immediate rescue efforts have been down to local authorities, the Red Cross, and NGOs with branches in Palu. The government has asked for limited international assistance as the full scale of the destruction and loss of life becomes apparent, with the toll feared to rise into the thousands as some of the worst-hit and hardest-to-access areas are reached.

It is heartening to see that the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) has launched a response plan seeking $50.5 million for immediate relief activities, and the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has already allocated $15 million to suport the activities included in the Response Plan. On 4th October, leading UK aid agencies also announced a joint fundraising appeal through the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal to help the survivors of Central Sulawesi Province.

Our thoughts are with the people affected by the Tsunami and the local and national responders who have been trying to respond in the aftermath of the destruction caused by the Tsunami. We commend the efforts of local people to deal with search, rescue and assistance in the absence of outside help. In solidarity with the affected people, and In light of the appeals for funds to respond to the disaster around the world we urge that the International Actors and donors respect the commitments they have made in the Grand Bargain and Charter 4 Change.

We urge the donors to ensure that the international actors they are funding adhere to the commitment on Accountability to Affected population, localization and transparency and accountability.

  1. Ensure that lessons learned after the 2004 Tsunami are incorporated so we do not repeat the mistakes. Refer to the TEC thematic report “The impact of international response on local and national capacities.

  2. Ensure that the response is designed with accountably to affected populations is at the center.

  3. Ensure that local and national capacity is reinforced rather than replaced

  4. Ensure that the local operational economy is respected, and not inflated by the international actors having huge resources for response

  5. Ensure that at least 25% funds, including the Response Plan, are passed on to local and national actors directly or as directly as possible.

  6. Ensure transparency about the amount of money being raised and how it is being spent

  7. Ensure that local and national responders get the recognition and visibility for the work they are doing so the donating public can see who is doing the work.

  8. Ensure that local and national responder are leading any coordination mechanism

  9. Ensure that response is building on and strengthening local and national capacity

  10. Ensure that response is in line with commitments on humanitarian and development nexus

  11. Ensure that the commitments are tracked, and a review takes place within 6 months to assess progress and lessons learned.

International Conveners of Alliance 4 Empowering Partnerships