Mid-Term Review for the Indian Ocean Earthquake-Tsunami Flash Appeal 2005

6 April 2005

(Regional, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Seychelles, Somalia and Sri Lanka)


The earthquake-tsunami, which struck on 26 December 2004, was one of the most devastating natural disasters ever. The response, from every quarter, has been swift and extraordinarily generous. The need for accountability, first to the people whose lives were ruined by this catastrophe, and second to the millions of people around the world who have provided resources, has never been so apparent.

This Mid-Term Review has four aims. First, to note what one set of actors – the United Nations and its partners – has done to respond during the first three months following the calamity. As such, the document reviews where things stood at the launch of the United Nations Flash Appeal for the Indian Ocean Earthquake-Tsunami and what progress has been made in addressing the relief and early recovery requirements assessed in the immediate aftermath of the disaster.

Second, the document outlines the current situation and people’s needs for relief and early recovery programmes until the end of 2005. The focus continues on key requirements of a regional nature and those more specific to Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Somalia, and Sri Lanka. There is good news on this front: most of the people whose lives were shattered on 26 December 2004 are now well beyond survival.

Third, the Mid-Term Review maps how the United Nations and its partners will work over the coming months to address relief and early recovery priorities identified in the field. The review demonstrates how current actions are linked to reconstruction and development expected throughout the coming years. Indeed, the notion of a linear progression “from relief to development” was debunked in the mid-1990s and it is important to note that Governments in the stricken countries have made significant progress to assess reconstruction needs and to develop programmes addressing them. The Governments, supported by the World Bank and the United Nations (UN), are in the process of outlining medium- and long-term plans. For example, in the case of India,the UN System has issued a “Recovery Framework in Support of the Government of India for a Post-Tsunami Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Programme.” In Sri Lanka, it is expected that a 24-month UN Transitional Strategy from relief to recovery will be drafted by the end of May, which apart from being a programming and coordination instrument, will also be used as a fund-raising tool to approach donors. Agencies, whose programmes differ in nature from the relief and early recovery programmes in this Flash Appeal, are partaking in the upcoming Sri Lankaexercise. Other countries struck by the earthquake-tsunami will shortly issue country-specific papers which highlight the role and value added of UN agencies, funds, and programmes over the medium-term.

Finally, the document shows the amounts of money disbursed during the past months and required to implement the priority programmes until the end of this year. In most cases, the UN and its partners do not seek more money and pledge to use existing resources strategically and efficiently with increasing emphasis on shelter, livelihoods, and recovery. While the sum of unmet requirements currently totals US$ 216 million, agencies and non-governmental organisations note that unallocated donor pledges total US$ 95 million.[1] In terms of financial resources, the priority is to match unmet requirements with unallocated pledges. Doing so should enable UN agencies and their partners to meet the remaining relief and early recovery needs of some 5 million people in seven countries.

Any new resources for relief above and beyond those available already should now be directed to the needs of some 30 million people affected by crises in parts of Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America.  

[1]All figures in this document for funding requirements and pledges, commitments and contributions to date are a snapshot as of 5 April 2005.  For continuously updated information on funding requirements and contributions to date, visit the Financial Tracking Service (fts.unocha.org).




In the early stages of the tsunami disaster, regional coordination of logistics, procurement, humanitarian coordination, information systems, resources allocation, and management were essential to respond to the vast needs throughout the tsunami affected areas.  During the first three months of the Flash Appeal, projects were implemented in the areas of food aid, joint logistics and air services, coordination, regional health, technical support, early warning systems, management, monitoring and evaluation, protection and human rights, capacity building, and security for humanitarian operations.

Since the launch of the Flash Appeal, thousands of metric tons of food have been delivered.  Regional logistic support services ensured the safe passage of aid workers and relief items by ground, sea, and air.  Early warning systems to rapidly detect, investigate and respond to outbreaks of communicable diseases were established in all affected countries.  Worldwide recognition and support generated concrete steps to the creation of a natural disaster early warning system.  Numerous coordination meetings, press statements, and donor meetings were held.  Action was taken quickly to respond to the needs of disaster-stricken communities suffering from multiple physical, social, economic and psychological impacts.  Assessments were made in many sectors to identify present and future needs and activities addressing early recovery of livelihoods have been initiated.

Three months later, a regional response is still essential.  However the regional priorities in the Mid Term Review represent an overall recognition of the need to plan for the transition from emergency relief activities to longer-term recovery and reconstruction needs.  The regional projects are sensitive to the fact that the timeline for this transition will not be the same in each country.  For example, while in some countries relief efforts continue, in Thailand after the immediate emergency needs were met, rehabilitation and reconstruction activities started quickly.  Projects continue to address the humanitarian needs of affected populations and vulnerable groups such as women, children, minorities and migrant workers.  Health initiatives are now moving from emergency relief work towards rehabilitation and recovery of health systems and services.  The current projects also emphasise the need for sustainable environmental restoration efforts that support rapid livelihood recovery, longer-term poverty alleviation and environmental protection goals.  Support for Human Immuno-deficiency Virus/Acquired Immuno-deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) interventions has emerged as a new priority need as the rapid recovery and reconstruction process threatens to increase exposure risk.  As part of its revised priorities, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) will collaborate with development partners to ensure that the transition from relief to recovery is coordinated.

The Royal Thai Government has not requested direct financial assistance and thus does not wish to be included in the Flash Appeal directly. However the UN technical assistance activities undertaken in partnership with the Royal Thai Government have been included in the Regional Section of the Flash Appeal, as agreed with the Government.  

The funding requested for regional-level aid activities amounts to US$ 438 million.[2]

[2] All figures in this document for funding requirements and pledges, commitments and contributions to date are a snapshot as of 5 April 2005.  For continuously updated information on funding requirements and contributions to date, visit the Financial Tracking Service (fts.unocha.org). 




The 26 December tsunami devastated the coastal areas of Northern Sumatra. Over the last three months the Government of Indonesia and its international partners have worked together to provide relief and assistance to the survivors. Three main factors have influenced the way in which the humanitarian community has been able to provide assistance; numbers of affected people, capacity to identify affected people, and the start of the transition between emergency relief and medium-term recovery and reconstruction programmes.

At the time of preparation of the Flash Appeal little was known about the effects of the tsunami in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD), other than that the scale of the tragedy was enormous. Three months on the humanitarian community is able to note some progress in the areas of needs assessment, coordination and information sharing, extension of geographical coverage of both relief and early recovery programmes, the development of good relations with the Government at all levels, the systematic handover of logistics responsibility from military to civilian management, the beginnings of longer term housing reconstruction programmes, an absence of widespread disease and the continuation of a massive clean-up operation.

Commensurate with this have been a number of challenges and positive changes in the situation in the affected area:

  • The recovery process is underway;
  • People have managed to find shelter with relatives and host families, thus minimising the need for movement into temporary living centres;
  • The health situation of the population is not as poor as was feared in the period immediately after the tsunami;
  • Numbers of internally placed persons continue to fluctuate as people identify their own solutions to displacement;
  • The planning and implementation of a civilian and logistics capacity has moved ahead on time;
  • Donor support has been exceptional for humanitarian relief programmes but less well provided for early recovery programmes;
  • Coordination and support services are considered to have worked well.

As the relief operation stabilises the Government and its partners are keen to meet the next challenge, which is to assist the people of NAD in rebuilding their shattered communities and livelihoods. Thus the overall response priority of the United Nations, which was articulated on 6 January as “to minimise the suffering and the further spread of disease, malnutrition and other threats to the coastal population of Northern Sumatra and initiate early recovery to kick start the economy” has been reworded in order to reflect the current reality, which is that the ongoing relief operation should support livelihoods and income-generating activities.

On this basis sector response plans have been revised to reflect progress to date in achieving sector objectives. In many instances the UN and its partners have revised sector objectives to reflect the changed understanding of the situation in NAD. For each sector a statement concerning the linkage between relief activities and longer-term reconstruction and development activities has been provided.

Finally, the UNCT in Indonesia has included a statement in this Mid-term Review confirming that it will not request additional funds. However, a number of agencies have identified new priorities which fall outside the scope of the Flash Appeal but which require donor support in order to assist in livelihoods and recovery activities.  





The magnitude and scale of the disaster relative to the size and population of the Maldives is unprecedented in living memory. The tsunami inundated the entire country, as the highest elevation in the country is 1.5m.  All of the Maldives’ 200 inhabited islands were hit, as were all of its 87 resort islands. The entire population of the Maldives was affected by the disaster, of which one-third of the population, some 100,000 people, was severely affected with more than eighty people killed. 29,000 persons were displaced by the tsunami, of whom about 11,500 remain in temporary shelter as of the end of March.

Overall, donor response to the Flash Appeal was generous and allowed satisfactory implementation of activities in most key sectorsof interventions. Funding for emergency relief was particularly quick and effective during the early phase, resulting in all affected communities receiving assistance. Some of the key achievements made by the UN agencies are stated in Chapter Two.

However, the task of responding to the humanitarian needs of the population has been hampered by logistical problems, which - given the dispersion of the country’s population over 200 islands - were already immense and has been made more complicated by the destruction of jetties and the loss of fishing vessels also used for intra-atoll transport. This is likely to pose long-term development challenges for the government and international partners in their reconstruction efforts, including the high transportation and distribution costs of providing social and economic services and infrastructure.

While continuing to maintain a focus on the recovery of affected populations, UN agencies will remain mindful that the generous support of the international donor provides an opportunity to strengthen Government policies and capacities as well as local community participation. To support the implementation and monitoring of its recovery programmes, the UNCT will increase its field presence with the establishment of project field offices in the northern and southern atolls. Strong working partnerships between UN agencies, NGOs, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Government counterparts on a wide range of key issues will be developed. Moreover, the UNCT will undertake an evaluation of the United Nations system’s tsunami response and will formulate lessons learnt for UN assistance to the Maldives, which will feed into the formulation of an overall UN strategy for recovery and reconstruction for the remainder of this year and into 2006.

Priorities have remained largely valid since the launch of the Flash Appeal. In order to better address the outstanding needs of the affected population beyond the initial relief phase, UN agencies have undertaken a series of consultations with the Government and key development partners. There is now a better sense of what should be achieved thanks to better information having been obtained, i.e. through the joint needs assessment, which revealed gaps in crosscutting issues such as gender, environment and community participation. As a result, modifications have been made to sector priorities and budget projections to take into account emerging priorities such as environmental protection and to reflect what has already been achieved through other funding sources and mechanisms.

With the substantial funding received to date, the main challenge is to shift from appraisals of damages and impact-related costs to actual implementation of recovery programmes - while at the same time ensuring linkages to longer-term development.

The revised requirements for the Maldives call for US$ 72.7 million to fund the humanitarian and immediate recovery efforts of seven UN agencies until 31 December 2005.[3]


[3]All figures in this document for funding requirements and pledges, commitments and contributions to date are a snapshot as of 5 April 2005.  For continuously updated information on funding requirements and contributions to date, visit the Financial Tracking Service (fts.unocha.org).




In the days following the Tsunami, the relief community in Myanmar sent urgent emergency support to identified affected communities, with distribution of food and non-food items to cover for the immediate needs in terms of food, water, health, shelter, livelihoods, and sanitation of some 6,000 people affected by the Tsunami. 

In parallel to these emergency first-phase distributions, a series of assessment and verification missions were undertaken over the course of the first 10 days following the Tsunami by one or more of the partners already working in Myanmar. Assessments went from the Rakhine Coast, Ayeyarwady Delta to the southern coast including the most populated islands of the Myeik archipelago and the islands off Kawthaung around Lampi Island and aimed at determining the immediate impact of the Tsunami. This first round of assessment was followed by joint evaluation missions, aiming to assess the following mid- to longer-term needs. 

The emergency response to the Tsunami disaster in Myanmar highlighted a lack of disaster preparedness and further revealed the inherent complications linked to coordination between international partners and national authorities.  A lessons-learned exercise is underway to identify opportunities for a more efficient response in the future.

During the next few months, the Tsunami response will focus on medium to longer-term needs.  Shelter and infrastructure (including water and sanitation) rehabilitation activities have been planned and will be implemented, sometimes coupled with food for work support. Other programmes, such as support to education (provision of supplies and school furniture) and to child protection, as well as a generalised focus on malaria-related activities in affected townships, will be implemented.  As for livelihoods (especially fishing), organisations and agencies already involved in those sectors are scaling up their activities to respond to the newly created needs. 

Damage caused by the Tsunami in Myanmar was limited in comparison to other countries in the region.  Relief agencies were able to provide assistance quickly precisely because the number of victims was not overwhelming and basic stocks were available locally.  Funds already made available by various donors and the agencies themselves since the onset of the disaster will be sufficient to cover recovery activities until the end of 2005.  No additional funding requirements are being proposed at UNCT level, yet individual agencies will coordinate with their respective Regional Offices or Headquarters to receive the funds required for proposed programmatic scaling up in affected areas.






In the aftermath of the tsunami, the government of the Seychelles took the lead in terms of relief efforts, providing shelter and medical care to displaced families, and undertaking emergency repairs to the key infrastructure to render them temporarily operational so as to support livelihoods. While the involvement of the Government has been significant, additional resources from the international community are still required. The UN, on behalf of the Government of the Seychelles, appealed for US$ 8.9 million to cover most urgent requirements in 6 priority areas (roads infrastructure, housing, fisheries infrastructure, early warning system, and damaged assessment).

In January and February 2005, a number of UN agencies (FAO, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), WB, UNDP, UNEP) carried out assessment and project formulation missions to the Seychelles in order to ensure the resources requested are commensurate with the scale of needs in the various sectors. Furthermore, these missions provided technical details and costs estimates to prepare project proposals for the priority areas identified in the Flash Appeal, which formed the baseline for planning the recovery and resource mobilisation efforts.

The priority needs that will be addressed until the end of the year remains the following: 

  1. Rehabilitation of essential infrastructure;
  2. Rehabilitation/reconstruction of private dwellings/schools/utilities;
  3. Establishment of the early warning and disaster management system;
  4. Rehabilitation of livelihoods in the fisheries/agricultural sector. 

The National Disaster/National Risk and Disaster Management Secretariat located in the President’s Office will be the coordinating agency and will be responsible for the overall management of all the projects under the Flash Appeal. Line Ministries will be responsible for implementation of sectoral projects. A UN Tsunami Coordinating Unit in Seychelles will be established by the country office to ensure that technical design, specifications and supervision of works are in accordance with UN rules and regulations and that financial tracking are timely.

Resources mobilised under the Flash Appeal represent 38.5% of the total requirements.[4]

The IMF/WB macro-economic assessment mission highlighted that the critical macro-economic situation and the shortage of foreign exchange will have repercussions on longer-term development prospects. In this context, the Bretton Wood Institutions (BWI) have suggested to the authorities the possibility of organising a “Friends of the Seychelles Donors Conference” to address the macro economic reform agenda.

[4] Counting only commitments and contributions.  Additional pledges or funding indications reported by the field offices would bring funding to about 70% of requirements, if committed.  All figures in this document for funding requirements and pledges, commitments and contributions to date are a snapshot as of 5 April 2005.  For continuously updated information on funding requirements and contributions to date, visit the Financial Tracking Service (fts.unocha.org).






The South Asian tsunami struck the northeastern coast of Puntland on 26 December 2004.  The effect of the tsunami exacerbated existing vulnerabilities and compounded an already dire humanitarian situation in Somalia, which has been marked by years of persistent drought conditions, outbreaks of violence, environmental degradation, and periodic floods.  The impact of the tsunami resulted in the destruction of housing, contamination of water sources, and the loss of livelihood assets, such as fishing boats and equipment.  Many of those affected required urgent humanitarian assistance.

Intermittent humanitarian access, rugged terrain, inter- and intra-clan violence, and general insecurity characterised the operational context.  Despite these challenges, local communities, UN agencies, and NGOs responded within a couple of days to the immediate needs of the affected population by mobilising in-country resources.  Operational agencies such as WFP, CARE, UNICEF, UNHCR, WHO, MSF-Holland, Diakonia, Veterinaire sans Frontières (VSF)-Suisseand local NGOs like Galkayo Education Centre for Peace and Development (GECPD) and the Shilale Environment Concern (SHILCON) were fast to either pre-position or distribute relief items, including food, medicine, shelter materials, cooking utensils, blankets, and clean drinking water.

To further assess the situation, representatives of NGOs, UN agencies and the Puntlandauthorities conducted a joint inter-agency assessment mission from 28 January to 8 February inthe tsunami-affected region of Puntland.  The findings of the assessment confirmed that the existing emergency responses in the sectors of health, water, shelter, non-food items, and food had largely met the life-saving needs of the affected communities. 

Following the inter-agency assessment mission, several UN agencies, including UNICEF, FAO, UNEP, and UNHABITAT, began to develop recovery programs focused on shelter reconstruction, environmental assessments, water and sanitation, rehabilitation of schools and health facilities, and livelihood recovery.  These additional needs related to recovery will be addressed through the MTR of the 2005 Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) for Somalia.  Some agencies, like UNHCR, will use additional funds already available under the Flash Appeal to cover their revised requirements.  The availability of funds will allow agencies to move more easily from relief to recovery activities.




The tsunamis triggered by last December’s massive earthquakes off the coast of northern Sumatra caused unprecedented casualties and damage. The response too was unprecedented. The reaction of foreign governments, UN, NGOs, the Red Cross movement and individual donors across the world exceeded in scale and scope the response to any other natural disaster in history.

Requirements for Sri Lanka through the Indian Ocean Flash Appeal totalled US$ 157,250,671 (UN only – US$ 155,723,646) and as of 1 March 2005, contributions had reached US$ 128,478,571 (UN – US$ 122,258,657)[5]. Funding level stands at 77% (total shortfall – US$ 39.4 million, UN only – US$ 34 million). While humanitarian emergency operations have been in general well funded (see table of MTR Budget Revisions by agency), sectors such as critical infrastructure/environment, shelter/NFIs, restoration of livelihoods, agriculture and capacity building remain under funded.

Immediate emergency humanitarian needs have generally been met in terms of quantity. Vast operations in the aftermath of the disaster succeeded in preventing further deaths. Direct food distribution and the introduction of ration cards served to avoid famine and collective health initiatives managed to stop any outbreaks of disease. As the Flash Appeal was launched on 6 January, 637 camps and welfare centres as well as thousands of relatives and friends provided temporary shelter to 572,578 displaced persons.

To date, in most affected areas, people have been given access to sufficient and adequate water supplies, although in many camps, the standard of sanitation facilities has not yet reached an acceptable level. The clearing of debris has been completed along the main roads and temporary measures are in place where road access is deemed essential. Early recovery efforts have included capacity building and the restoration of health and educational facilities, infrastructure and sanitation. More than 85% of the children in tsunami-affected areas are back in school. Furthermore, general food distribution is gradually shifting towards more targeted feeding programmes for vulnerable groups and self-sustainability projects such as Food/Cash for Work.

With more than 180 agencies and NGOs now operating in Sri Lanka, coordination remains a major challenge as well asan opportunity. Existing coordination mechanisms have been streamlined and reinforced, information flows have been captured, and a strategy-planning calendar has been approved by the UNCT. Having entered a transitional stage, the post-tsunami relief and recovery effort faces even bigger challenges. It has become evident that much stronger efforts are needed to ensure smooth transition from relief to recovery. In anticipation of a Government National Reconstruction Plan (not ready as of 30 March), much more has to be done on optimising sectoral and overall coordination with authorities at all levels.  Priority in this regard should be given to issues related to transitional shelter, ensuring adequate sanitation conditions and start-up of livelihoods activities.

The extension of the Flash Appeal to the end of 2005 will allow more precise targeting and better implementation while reducing the adverse impact of limited local absorbing capacities. However, while aiming to focus on extended relief and early recovery, the Mid-term Review cannot at this point address in a comprehensive manner the task of ensuring a smooth transition from relief to recovery in general. The reason for that is threefold: a) the National Reconstruction Plan is yet to be finalised by the Government; b) the results of the Second Phase of UN/International Financial Institutions (IFI) led Needs Assessment will be coming in by the end of April; and, c) UN “3W” (Who, What, Where) survey including NGOs is yet to be completed. The UNCT, therefore, decided for a “zero option” in terms of increasing requirements. As the above missing elements will become available, a 24-month UNCT Transition Strategy from relief to recovery will be drafted by the end of May 2005 in consultation with the Government and other major stakeholders. The Transition Strategy will include the original six months of the Flash Appeal. In parallel, efforts are being made to address unmet emerging needs, for example, FAO is developing a project in agriculture using own fund-raising mechanisms, and UNHCR has reallocated funds from shelter-related transport to protection.

Thus, through the Mid-term Review, UN and its partners appeal to donors to consider proposed original projects, which have remained under funded. The Mid-term Review will also create the necessary momentum to define the Transitional Strategy, which the extended timeframe for implementation of the Flash Appeal will feed into. The Strategy, part from being a programming/coordination instrument, will also be used as a fund- raising tool to approach donors with a consolidated set of appropriate projects. 

[5] Figures reflect only contributions against FA requirements.  This figure assumes allocation up to full project requirements by WHO and UNICEF (both of which are fully funded with respect to overall Flash Appeal requirements), although those allocations are not yet formally reported to FTS.  All figures in this document for funding requirements and pledges, commitments and contributions to date are a snapshot as of 5 April 2005.  For continuously updated information on funding requirements and contributions to date, visit the Financial Tracking Service (fts.unocha.org).


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6 April 2005

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