One Year After the Tsunami: Public/Private Partnerships are a Catalyst for Change as CHF International Rebuilds Sri Lanka and Indonesia

One Year After the Tsunami: Public/Private Partnerships are a Catalyst for Change as CHF International Rebuilds Sri Lanka and Indonesia

tsunami reportOne year has passed since the December 26, 2004 tsunami, which destroyed huge swaths of South and Southeast Asia. The damage was so great that the infrastructure alone will take years upon years to rebuild. Other things—-including the tragic loss of life of approximately a quarter million people—are irreplaceable. Still, despite the magnitude of the disaster, CHF International knows that a great deal can be done to provide devastated communities both immediate relief and assistance with long-term reconstruction, as we have done after countless other disasters around the world. As a result, we have spent
the past year working to rebuild the regions most devastated by the tsunami in Indonesia and Sri Lanka, one community and one family at a time.

It was hardly a surprise to see the tremendous generosity of the American people and the US government in the aftermath of the tsunami. In the face of both human and manmade disasters, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the American people have long enabled us to make long-lasting, positive change in nearly 40 countries around the world, through the 88 diverse programs we operate. And, wherever we work, CHF knows we can count on a wealth of community members, civil society organizations and local governments to support us in engaging local communities, so that they can be active participants in social, economic and infrastructural transformation. 

However, what we did not fully expect was the outpouring of immediate support from the private sector and countless individual donors, who were determined to take action and alleviate massive human suffering. Far more than just enabling us to expand upon efforts supported by the US government, the support of groups and people such as AIG Disaster Relief Fund, singer/songwriter Alanis MorissetteAmeriCares, Briggs and Stratton, Catholic Relief Services and DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary not only helped us to provide an immediate humanitarian response to those who lost their homes, but also helped to address longer-term economic development and livelihood restoration needs simultaneously. 

The result of these successful public/private partnerships was that we were able to respond to those displaced by the tsunami quickly, and with diverse range of assistance, so that they could move on with their lives. Below is an overview of the timeline outlining our response:

  • On December 27, 2004, CHF responded immediately by mobilizing US $30,000 to address emergency housing and sanitation needs in Sri Lanka, and to provide affected communities with cooking utensils and other critical items;
  • By January 27, 2005, CHF International launched a program with USAID to build shelters for 16,000 displaced people in Sri Lanka’s Galle and Matara districts;
  • By April, 2005, we were implementing programs across South Asia to help thousands re-establish markets and livelihoods, creating 8,000 days of paid work for locals who had lost their jobs as a result of the tsunami; and
  • By May 18, 2005, we had raised $400,000 in donations. This helped us leverage an additional $1.7 million that is helping more than 500,000 Indonesians in Aceh province.
While much work remains to be done, CHF International is proud of all we have been able to accomplish over the past year, thanks to the tremendous support of the US government and the American people, and the enormous generosity of the private sector.

To read more about CHF's tsunami recovery work in Sri Lanka and Indonesia, please download the full report here