The Indian Ocean Tsunami: Economic Impact, Disaster Management and Lessons
The purpose of this paper is to document and analyze the immediate economic impact of the Indian Ocean tsunami generated by the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake of 26 December 2004 and the disaster management process in the immediate aftermath of the disaster with a focus on the two worst affected countries - Indonesia (Aceh province) and Sri Lanka. The 26 December Tsunami is unique among large disasters in recorded human history, not only because of the sheer number of causalities and massive displacement of people, but also because of the unprecedented international donor response and the logistic challenges faced by international organizations and aid agencies in organizing and coordinating relief efforts. Our preliminary findings points to the importance of educating the public about simple precautions in the event of a disaster and enforcement of coastal environmental regulations as disaster prevention policies. The findings also makes a strong case for designing policies and programs, as an integral part of national development strategy, for mitigating the impact of natural disasters on the poor and highlights the need for combining international aid commitments with innovative approaches to redressing problems of limited aid absorptive capacity in disaster affected countries.
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