Seychelles + 1 more

Asia: Earthquake and Tsunamis - Appeal No. 28/2004 Operations Update No. 49



The Federation’s mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world’s largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 181 countries.

In Brief

Revised Preliminary Appeal No. 28/2004; Operations Update no. 49; Period covered: 15 February to 15 March 2005; Appeal coverage: 116.6%

Highlights of the Day:

- African National Societies participate actively in the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement’s Tsunami Response Forum in Hong Kong

- Movement coordination is strengthened in the East Africa region

- The capacity of the Seychelles Red Cross Society is strained by its tsunami response operation

- Report by the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) stresses health priorities and findings in line with recent Somali Red Crescent/Federation operations review mission

Appeal history:

- Preliminary appeal launched on 26 December 2004 CHF 7,517,000 (USD 6,658,712 or EUR 4,852,932) for 6 months to assist 500,000 beneficiaries.

- Disaster Relief Emergency Funds (DREF) allocated: CHF 1,000,000.

- Revised Preliminary Appeal issued on 30 December 2004, for CHF 67,005,000 (USD 59,152,246 or EUR 53,439,988) for 2 million beneficiaries for 6-8 months.

- The Preliminary Appeal was originally launched titled "Bay of Bengal: Earthquake and Tsunamis". The title was subsequently changed to "Asia: Earthquake and Tsunamis" in the Revised Preliminary Appeal launched on 29 December 2004.

- Operations update No. 16 revised the Revised Preliminary Appeal 28/2004 budget to CHF 183,486,000 (USD 155,286,000 or EUR 118,669,000) with programme extensions for particularly Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Maldives and East Africa.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

Nairobi Regional Delegation; Anitta Underlin, Federation Head of Eastern Africa Reg ional Delegation, Nairobi; email:; Phone: +; Fax +; Steve Penny, Regional Disaster Management Coordinator; Phone: +; Fax: +; email:

In Geneva: Josse Gillijns, Regional Officer for Eastern Africa, Africa Dept.; email:; Phone: +41.22.730.42.24; Fax: +41.22.733.03.95

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in these or other countries, or for a full description of the national society profiles, please access the Federation’s website at


The magnitude 9.0 earthquake that struck the area off the western coast of northern Sumatra on Sunday morning, 26 December 2004, at 7:59 am local time (00:59 GMT) triggered massive waves, or tsunamis, that inundated coastal areas in countries all around the Indian Ocean rim - from Indonesia to Somalia. Sri Lanka, the Indonesian province of Aceh, four states of southern India, the Maldives, and coastal areas of Thailand, Malaysia, and Myanmar were the most severely affected. The earthquake epicentre was located at 3.30N, 95.78E at a depth of 10 kilometres. The area is historically prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the margins of tectonic plates. However, waves of this magnitude are rare and therefore the level of preparedness was very low.

Summary of the human toll caused by the tsunami as of 18 March
Sri Lanka
East Africa

* In Indonesia and India only, the number of dead includes those previously listed as missing though this will only be official in Indonesia one year after the disaster’s date.
Note: East Africa covers tsunami-affected countries of Kenya, Madagascar, Seychelles, Somalia and Tanzania.

Thousands of staff, relief and medical personnel, and volunteers of the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies of the tsunami-affected countries have provided a vital initial response, in search and rescue, clean-up, providing temporary shelter and immediate relief assistance, emergency medical services, psychological first aid and tracing. It is estimated that over 22,000 Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers and 76 relief and medical teams were mobilized in the disaster-affected areas.

The Federation immediately launched a Preliminary Emergency Appeal on the day of the disaster with a focus on Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Maldives. On 3 January 2005, the ICRC launched budget extensions additional to its 2005 Emergency Appeal for Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Along with initial support from the country and regional delegations, the Federation deployed within 24-72 hours three Field Assessment and Coordination Teams (FACT) and 18 Emergency Response Units (ERU) in the sectors of water and sanitation, health care, aid distribution, telecommunications, and logistics/transportation.

The Federation’s fleet base, based in Dubai since July 2004, has been very active in the tsunami operation and provided vital logistics support through the preparation and dispatching of vehicles within 24 hours to delegations and national societies in the tsunami-affected countries. New tenders are in progress currently to meet the additional demand of various delegations, especially the one in Sri Lanka.

East Africa

Focus on the transition from emergency relief to longer term development in the tsunami response



The national society is nearing completion of its emergency relief phase. The distribution of fishing equipment is the key remaining activity; tendering for procurement is in process.

In addition to donations from the Federation and the French Red Cross, the national society received donations of USD 50,000 each from USAID, via the US Embassy, and the Red Cross Society of China, via the Chinese ambassador. This enabled the Seychelles Red Cross to procure relief items that were identified in later assessments and not covered by the contributions from the Federation or French RC.

The tsunami operation has strained the capacity of the Seychelles Red Cross. The programme coordinator has been managing the programme, with support from the secretary and volunteers. As well, governance members have been very active.

The recruitment of a disaster management officer for the Indian Ocean sub-region has become urgent, as are plans to build a new office and warehouse space for the headquarters and branches. The national society does not have a warehouse, and has been using its two-room office as both office and storage. This has strained working conditions, particularly in the current hot season. During this construction phase, and to ensure continued activities related to tsunami, the national society headquarters will have to temporarily relocate. This will result in additional costs; it is noteworthy that most partners are willing to contribute to the costs of new office space both temporarily and in the long term.

The Red Cross is part of a tsunami response coordination structure set up by national authorities which meets weekly. Responsibilities have been assigned among different cells of the authority structures and all NGO involved depending to their resources, experience and mandate. The Red Cross has a leading role in securing relief assistance for the affected people as well as providing psychological support in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and other local experts.

The Seychelles Red Cross has been approached by German Red Cross and Spanish Red Cross with proposals for bilateral cooperation with regard to short-, medium- and long-term cooperation. The Regional Movement Coordinator is expected to provide advice in the establishment of such potential partnerships.

During the last ten days, 60 additional families have been assisted with mattresses, kitchen sets, bed sheets, and clothing. Hot plates and cooking sets were also distributed to disaster affected households to enable access for food preparation and serving facilities.

In line with cultural norms, some households have been assisted with refrigerators and washing machines depending on the vulnerability of the affected people and coping mechanism; this type of household equipment is considered basic household items in the Seychelles community.

National society volunteers have been working with the emergency brigade in cleaning and removing debris on roads and in many houses.

The Praslin branch has put in place an ambulance service to assist victims of the disaster who have been injured and who need daily hospital referral for dressing of wounds. The targeted groups are the elderly and the children.

Objective 2 (capacity building): The disaster response capacity of national societies in the Eastern Africa region is strengthened.

Through the regional delegation in Nairobi, the Seychelles Red Cross has procured 40 sets of personal gear for members of the Red Cross disaster response team which includes helmets, boots, gloves and rain coats. Another 40 sets will be procured shortly pending their availability on the local market.

Office equipment has been procured to strengthen the national society’s operational capacity. This has had a positive impact, particularly on the administrative side of the operation.

Preparations are ongoing for a vulnerability and capacity assessment (VCA) exercise and disaster management and psycho-social support training.



An assessment by twenty various humanitarian organizations coordinated by UN OCHA in the tsunami-affected area in Somalia has now been completed. Its findings converge with those of the Red Crescent tsunami operations review conducted in February. Among the issues highlighted in the UN OCHA report health has a prominent place. The report recommends an expansion and strengthening of health training, health education in the community with an emphasis on understanding of hygienic procedures and practices, improving sanitation by addressing availability of toilets and waste disposal, as well as an upgrading of health facilities in Gara’ad, Hafun, Bender Beyla and Eyl.

The Somalia delegation and the national society continue to be actively involved in coordination with other partners to ensure that priority areas are responded to. With its network of health clinics and expertise in health prevention activities the Somali Red Crescent is expected to play a pivotal role in future health-related activities.

An expansion of the health and care programme in Bari region will be preceded by an in-depth assessment which will be conducted in coordination with partners in the Somali aid coordination body before the end of April.

The leadership of the Somali Red Crescent Society joined representatives of about 40 national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies in the three-day Movement Tsunami Response Forum in Hong Kong.

Red Cross and Red Crescent Action

Objective 1 (health): The health conditions among the most affected people in Somali coastal regions of Alula, Iskushuban (Hafun), Bender Beila, Eyl and Jariban have improved and the outbreak of epidemics and waterborne diseases prevented.

During the reporting period volunteers of the Somalia Red Crescent Society continued their activities in Hafun. Many of the volunteers were deployed from neighbouring branches since the onset of the disaster and have been providing and building up support within the directly affected community.

With relief and clean-up activities nearing completion, the national society intends to maintain only two of these qualified volunteers in the area. They are expected to conduct training of trainer (ToT) sessions with volunteers recruited in the tsunami-affected area during the emergency phase. Besides an induction to the Red Cross Red Crescent principles and values, the training will focus on coaching and mentoring sessions as well as familiarizing volunteers with the African Red Cross and Red Crescent Health Initiative (ARCHI) tools.

The main tasks are now being undertaken by the 17 newly recruited local volunteers in Hafun. Sanitation activities continue with volunteers assisting Red Crescent staff in their health activities including health awareness campaigns. The volunteers have been particularly active in involving the community members to conduct sanitation activities in their respective communities. Much needed protection materials such as heavy duty gloves and masks were received through the Federation.

The national society through the branch secretary for the Bari region and the Garowe-based national health officer is in the process of recruiting a health officer to support the Bossasso branch in health and care planning and subsequent interventions.

Objective 2 (capacity building): The disaster response capacity of national societies in the East Africa region is strengthened.

The Somalia delegation is in the process of recruiting a disaster management officer who will assist the national society in its disaster management planning, implementation and evaluation.

An IT support mission has been delayed due to capacity constraints in the regional Delegation. A new IT and telecommunications delegate has joined the regional delegation and is expected to conduct a mission to the tsunami-affected area shortly.

A lessons learned exercise is planned at the end of the operation.

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