Two years after the tsunami of December 26, 2004, there have been major achievements on the long road to recovery among the devastated communities across the Indian Ocean region.
New Report Stresses Need for Continuity and Sets Forth Lessons for Future Recovery Efforts
New York - 21 December 2006: In a new report issued today on lessons learned in the first two years of the tsunami recovery process, former U.S.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton recently completed a three-country tour of the tsunami-affected region, which included Tamil Nadu, India, Phuket, Thailand, and Aceh, Indonesia. In this recent trip, his last as UN Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, President Clinton visited a range of recovery sites and projects to assess progress to date and met with key recovery stakeholders.
This Synthesis Report of the NGO Impact Initiative is the outcome of an international, collaborative process. In April 2006, nine U.S.-based nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) accepted the challenge of former U.S. President Bill Clinton, in his capacity as UN Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, to examine their own performance in five key areas. The initiative soon became broadened to include partners from around the globe, and the U.S.-based NGOs reached out to European, Australian, and Asian counterparts.
By Gaurav Garg, UNICEF India
Close Family Bonds
Serafina is one of the 31 tsunami "orphans" in Car Nicobar. Only a few days before the tsunami occurred on December 26, her parents had left the island to visit their home in Bonda in Katchal in the southern Nicobar Islands, where the father used to work as a wage labourer. The parents would not return.
Then only 3=BD years old, Serafina has no recollection of the event and the mayhem that followed.
New York - The Office of the Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery (OSE), in partnership with the World Conservation Union (IUCN), hosted a high-level gathering on September 12 to discuss IUCN's "Mangroves for the Future" Initiative (MFF) at UN headquarters in New York.
The Mangroves for the Future Initiative will improve the security and livelihoods of those in the tsunami-affected countries in the Indian Ocean region by conserving mangroves and other natural ecosystems.
for Tsunami Recovery, recently traveled to the tsunami-affected region to assess progress in the recovery effort, meet stakeholders in the process, and advance several important initiatives in which the Office of the Special Envoy (OSE) is engaged. The Deputy Special Envoy traveled to India, Maldives, and Sri Lanka on this most recent visit.
In Sri Lanka and India, Schwartz hosted consultations with the international and national NGO communities as part of the Special Envoy/ NGO Impact Initiative, a project launched by the UN Special Envoy, President Bill Clinton, last spring.
Eric Schwartz, United Nations Deputy Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, looks at the special role NGOs play in enabling the reconstruction of countries affected by the tsunami...
The tsunami left an overwhelming path of destruction in its wake. More than 230,000 people lost their lives, some 400,000homes wee reduced to rubble, and the livelihoods of as many as five million people were thrown into jeopardy. The earthquake and waves that followed caused $10bn in damages in barely 24 hours.
Colombo, Sri Lanka, 31 August 2006 -- Representatives of major international organizations, non-governmental agencies, donors and the Sri Lankan government met today to examine how microfinance can better contribute to ongoing tsunami recovery efforts.
"Microfinance is vital not only to help the Sri Lankan people rebuild, but also to address the more persistent issue of poverty among those hardest hit by the tsunami," said Eric Schwartz, the United Nations' Deputy Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery.
The event, which was organized with support from the German Technical …
Eric Schwartz, who serves as Deputy to Bill Clinton, the UN Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, visited the Maldives on 28 and 29 August to assess the state of the recovery effort there. While in the Maldives, he traveled to the islands of Kudahuvadhoo and Dhiggaru to view reconstruction activities, and also witnessed the damage caused by the tsunami on the island of Gemendhoo.
The post-tsunami reconstruction effort in Aceh and Nias requires an intensive use of timber, straining an already limited local supply and threatening protected forests. Given scarce resources, there is an increased risk that sub-standard supplies will be used, leading to poor-quality construction. There is also a threat that limited supply might lead to an increase in illegal logging, creating serious environmental damage.
Reports Progress in Recovery in Aceh and Nias
Over the last 18 months, the international aid community has stepped up efforts to enhance the tsunami recovery process, make it sustainable, and stimulate local ownership. Partnerships with local actors are on the rise. Of note is a recently launched $1 million project to build capacity among communities in eight Sri Lankan districts.
Launched in November 2005, the Temporary Shelter Plan of Action (TSPA) provided a concrete plan to move displaced populations in Aceh and Nias into temporary shelter. The plan has progressed rapidly over recent months. As of June 27, 2006, an estimated 15,300 temporary shelter units were needed in Aceh and Nias. To date, 9,542 units have been delivered to Aceh, and 5,183 units have been completed with timber, which is arriving in Aceh on a daily basis.
Recognizing the key role that the international NGO community has played in the humanitarian, recovery and reconstruction response to the Asia Tsunami, in April 2006, President Clinton, launched a six-month intensive review of five critical challenges that face U.S. and international NGOs, which were brought into starker relief in the context of the tsunami recovery. The reviews will lead to a series of short reports to be presented to the Special Envoy in time in the autumn meeting of the Global Consortium for Tsunami Recovery.
New York, 28 April 2006 - The United Nations Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, former United States President Bill Clinton, today called for sustained engagement in the tsunami recovery process by the key actors involved.