Fukuoka, 18 December 2014 – As we approach the ten-year anniversary of the devastating Indian Ocean Tsunami, UN-Habitat draws attention to the results achieved in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Maldives, and the lessons learned. UN-Habitat now contributes to various humanitarian clusters, especially shelter and WASH, and supports the global community as the focal point for House, Land and Property issues. In collaboration with the respective Governments and local authorities, UN-Habitat and its partners supported affected communities to build back safer shelter through community involvement.

Apart from providing broad technical and housing policy support to the Aceh Nias Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency, UN-Habitat with partners in Indonesia constructed 3,450 permanent houses, and updated 23 village plans through a participatory process. UN-Habitat has supported effectively addressing the seamless transition from relief to reconstruction in Sri Lanka by adopting, institutionalizing and mainstreaming a people-centered approach to recovery and reconstruction, UN-Habitat assisted the reconstruction of 10,296 houses in 6 coastal districts.

Remembering the Indian Ocean Tsunami1In Thailand, UN-Habitat was supporting the rehabilitation and recovery needs of traditional and sea gypsy communities in the tsunami-affected area. Local government organizations were strengthened in participatory rehabilitation planning. In the Maldives, UN-Habitat supported work on housing repair and reconstruction on 28 islands, where 2,739 houses were repaired, and 162 houses reconstructed. In addition, UN-Habitat provided inputs to the national housing policy that was later adopted. In those countries, infrastructure rebuilt through community contracts made the communities sustainable, and reached needy basic services.

The lessons learned from the Indian Ocean Tsunami have since been drawn on repeatedly in many countries. This was demonstrated in successfully supported reconstruction plans for affected cities in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan, just over a year ago.