OCHA in 2009 Cover
Map of Indonesia



Fast Facts

The October 2009 earthquake off the coast of West Sumatra Province highlighted Indonesian as the most disaster prone country in the world. Amid this reality, the disaster management structure in Indonesia is still evolving, following the enactment of the new Disaster Management law in 2007. Sub-national disaster management agencies must still be formed and contingency plans at the local levels are further being developed. In many of these disasters, a large percentage of vulnerable populations remain without proper assistance. OCHA support remains critical to complement and coordinate humanitarian action, identify clear triggers, and support the provision of timely preparedness and emergency response options.

Under the current process of decentralization in Indonesia, local governments have increased responsibility to respond to disasters in their respective areas. However, gaps remain in terms of transition, early recovery and disaster preparedness. OCHA is thus working closely with the National Coordinating Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB), tightening overall coordination, and supporting contingency planning at the district and provincial levels. At the regional level, OCHA is collaborating with the ASEAN, which is undertaking a new role in the promotion of disaster risk reduction in the region, enhancing response capacities of its member countries and consolidating efforts to achieve development goals.

Recent efforts in coordinating 190 relief organizations in the aftermath of the West Sumatra earthquake exemplifies the key role OCHA plays in coordination, assessment and information sharing in Indonesia and beyond. Based on lessons learned in 2009, humanitarian funds have been effective in helping local governments respond; filling gaps and liaising to promote disaster preparedness; building local capacities; and identifying solutions for early recovery. The limited government capacity to respond to small and medium scale disasters will be reinforced through the continued provision of ERF-funded projects. Advocacy efforts to promote the effectiveness of humanitarian funds to complement government efforts will be strengthened to ensure support from government, donors and other humanitarian actors.

Finally, OCHA will keep the international community in Indonesia informed of available tools and services to support disaster coordination and response initiatives. Compared to 2009, OCHA will maintain a reduced presence in 2010 and initiate a process of gradual handover of certain functions to the RC/HC office. However, given the intensity, frequency, and cyclical nature of natural hazards, OCHA will need to mitigate the risk of major natural disasters by maintaining a network of partners and scalable tools to enable other humanitarian actors to respond. Other identified challenges will be tackled by increasing support for capacity-building of local governments, such as contingency planning for disaster response.

In 2010, OCHA cooperation with regional organizations such as ASEAN is part of an OCHA-wide effort to work increasingly with regional partners. Continued engagement with ASEAN in conjunction with ROAP will facilitate a strengthened collaborative approach. As a crucial member of ASEAN, Indonesia serves as a regional advisor in providing guidance and assistance to Myanmar. In this regard, OCHA Indonesia will further support the United Nations RC/HC and the government to develop best practices and lessons-learned in the country and in the region.