Author and guest blogger Sophia Ayele discusses key lessons from Oxfam’s new report, The Indian Ocean Tsunami, 10 Years On: lessons from the response and ongoing funding challenges
Oxfam’s research report, The Indian Ocean Tsunami, 10 Years On, examines the record breaking tsunami funding response and asks why we don’t see this level and speed of response for every emergency.
In the days and weeks after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, humanitarian organisations were overwhelmed with generous donations. The UK Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) combined funding appeal raised a record-breaking £392m ($613m), bringing in eight times more in two months than the DEC’s Sudan appeal, which had been running for four times as long. Governments also responded generously, with 99 countries contributing to the response, including 13 that had never before made a recorded contribution to a disaster.
In all, an estimated $13.5bn in donations poured in from the international community with an unprecedented amount (roughly 40%) from private individuals and organizations – making the tsunami the highest-ever privately funded response.
Why don’t we see this type of response for every emergency?
The report draws one overarching conclusion – humanitarian funding is often based on factors other than humanitarian need.