Ten Years On from the Indian Ocean tsunami – IFRC calls for greater commitments towards reducing disaster risks

Publié: 24 décembre 2014

A decade after the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami killed hundreds of thousands of people and left millions homeless, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is calling on the international community to scale-up efforts to protect and prepare vulnerable communities from the threat of disasters.

As the world remembers the 226,000 people who died on December 26 2004, the IFRC is urging governments, donors and international organisations to commit to making greater investments around clear and realistic targets designed to reduce disaster risks at the community level.

In 2005, 168 governments signed up to the Hyogo Framework for Action – a ten-year blueprint designed to prioritise risk-reduction.  In March 2015, a new declaration will be announced at the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction taking place in Sendai, Japan.

“There will be other mega-disasters like the tsunami but most disasters simply don’t attract international attention”, says Jagan Chapagain, the IFRC’s Director in Asia Pacific. “Only when we connect agendas around disaster risk reduction, sustainable development and climate change can we make a real difference in protecting vulnerable people”.

The IFRC was one of the biggest international responders following the tsunami. As part of its 3.1 billion Swiss Francs (3.1 billion US dollars or 2.1 billion euro) operation which spanned 14 countries, the IFRC reached 4.3 million people with humanitarian assistance. Providing safe housing was a priority and 57,000 families received new homes across Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. But, working with communities to reduce disaster risk was also a central pillar of recovery efforts and the legacy of those initiatives lives on today.

 In Thailand schools based programmes were established to teach disaster preparedness to children, in Sri Lanka thousands of emergency-responders have been trained, in Indonesia radio networks were set up as early warning systems and mangrove planting projects were introduced to protect coastal communities from the sea to reduce the impact of coastal flooding. The Maldivian Red Crescent was created in 2009 and now has 10 branches across the country that work on risk reduction programmes.

Last year, 22 million people were displaced by disasters – three times more than by war. It is predicted natural disasters will have a global cost of more than US dollar 421 billion by 2030 – an increase of 300 per cent. But studies show spending now on building community resilience will save governments millions in the future, with every dollar invested saving more than 15 dollars in emergency response and recovery costs, according to a study by the IFRC.

“The learning from the tsunami is clear”, says Chapagain. “Building resilience at the grassroots level means recognising that local communities are the drivers of change. The IFRC aims to invest 10% of funds we raise from emergency appeals to support our work in disaster risk reduction but to achieve this we need international donors to scale-up their support.”  


For interviews, images or more information on the IFRC’s tsunami recovery work, contact:

In Kuala Lumpur:

Patrick Fuller, communications manager, Asia Pacific

Tel: +60122308451 Email: patrick.fuller@ifrc.org



Nichola Jones, emergency communications officer, Asia Pacific

Tel:+ 44 7715 906 323  Email: Nicholalyndsay.Jones@ifrc.org

Twitter: @nicjones81


In Geneva;

Benoit Carpentier, IFRC Team Leader for Public Communications

Mobile: +41 79 213 24 13, E-mail benoit.carpentier@ifrc.org