During 2005, the level of violent conflict across the country declined significantly, although sporadic security incidents continued to occur in Central Sulawesi and Maluku. In addition to providing direct relief assistance where critical needs persisted, most humanitarian partners enlarged the scope of their activities to longer-term development assistance in support of conflict-affected communities reaching self-sufficiency.
The humanitarian community in Indonesia was of the view that the situation had improved to the point where a consolidated appeal for humanitarian assistance would no longer be needed.With this positive change, it was planned that OCHA Indonesia would phase down its presence and hand over its coordination functions to the government and relevant agencies.
OCHA had planned to close its presence in Indonesia by June 2005. However, this changed after the massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit countries along the Indian Ocean coast, including Aceh and North Sumatra , on 26 December 2004.
- Monitor the humanitarian situation in post-conflict and natural disaster-affected areas, and advocate for the remaining needs of the vulnerable
- Support the government and humanitarian organisations in developing contingency plans for areas likely to require humanitarian assistance in case of natural disasters
- Facilitate linkages between humanitarian and development programmes through facilitating relations between local authorities and development agencies
Based on a request by the Government of Indonesia, the United Nations, through OCHA, coordinated the international response to the tsunami. The HC and OCHA, supported by the UNCT, worked in close cooperation with the government, donors and NGOs. A much more complete report on tsunami-related activities in Indonesia, which were the main focus of the year, is included in Part IV of the report, while this section addresses the rest of the office's activities and accomplishments.
In light of the transition from emergency to recovery and reconstruction, and the need for strategic coherence across a broad range of multifaceted programmes and activities, the UN established the Office of the UN Coordination Recovery Coordinator for Aceh and Nias (UNORC) in mid-2005. Its overall priority is to support the government, specifically the Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Agency (BRR), as well as provincial and local governments, in implementing a comprehensive recovery and reconstruction programme. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) formalising the relationship between BRR and UNORC was signed on 30 November 2005.
In Maluku, Central Sulawesi , and Papua, OCHA continued to monitor developments, in close collaboration with local authorities and NGOs, to ensure that the remaining needs of conflict-affected communities were addressed, and that preparedness measures were in place to accommodate any conflict-related displacement.
In Central Sulawesi , particularly, OCHA provided capacity building support to the local authorities in order to effectively hand over coordination functions prior to OCHA's phasing out. Assistance included the development of a database on IDPs and humanitarian assistance, including training on the maintenance of the database.
OCHA held extensive discussions with local authorities and UNDP upon exiting the province, so that the residual humanitarian needs and concerns would be addressed in the longer-term planning and recovery process. As a result, local authorities accepted full responsibility for maintaining the IDP database and for conducting regular coordination meetings with the international NGOs and UN Agencies active in the area.
The Indonesia office continued to manage the Emergency Response Fund (ERF) and the Humanitarian Response Fund (HRF) established with contributions from the governments of the United Kingdom and Australia . They were set up to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to conflict- and disaster-affected populations through international and national NGOs in Aceh, Maluku, Sulawesi,West Kalimantan and West Java . Five new projects were funded during 2005 in health, education, income generation, and water and sanitation, in order to meet life-saving needs as well as to help affected populations rebuild their lives.
In cooperation with UN Agencies, OCHA arranged several workshops during the year, including: a National Post-Tsunami Lessons Learned and Best Practices workshop in Jakarta, Regional Post- Tsunami Lessons Learned and Best Practices Workshop in Medan, North Sumatra, and UN- GODonor Convergence. Training courses included a series of Emergency Management Training and Contingency Planning Exercises for facilitators and stakeholders at provincial and district level in West Sumatra Province .
Through the UN Technical Working Group on disaster preparedness and management, efforts were also made to build capacities at central and provincial levels, focused on areas especially prone to natural disasters.
OCHA supported the new Coalition for Disaster Management Legislative Reform, in coordination with donors, INGOs and UN Agencies. More than 50 seminars, workshops, media campaigns, lobbying sessions, hearings and other activities have taken place since the Coalition was formed in early March 2005. The Coalition was facilitated by of the Indonesian Society for Disaster Management (MPBI) and involved civil society, the Indonesian Red Cross, UN Agencies, international organisations and government ministries.
OCHA also participated in a series of preliminary hearings conducted by a Working Group of the House of Representatives to study the Indonesian Disaster Management Draft Bill, which was submitted to the government at the end of 2005.
Donors and humanitarian organisations' interest was maintained in the remaining humanitarian needs in post-conflict and natural disaster affected areas, particularly in areas where funding gaps exist.
Following the tsunami many NGOs had to fold their operations in post-conflict-affected areas, as donors allocated funds to Aceh. Every month OCHA hosted a donor, NGO and UN Agencies coordination meeting at which NGOs were able to present their work and where OCHA was able to highlight areas of concern, thus renewing the interest of the donor community.
Significant progress was made on the Indonesian Disaster Management Draft Bill, with input from OCHA among others.