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ALNAP HPG Webinar: What have humanitarians learned from the Indian Ocean tsunami and Haiti earthquake?

Monday 26 January 2015

The humanitarian sector will start 2015 marking two significant, but sobering moments in its recent history: the 10th anniversary of the Indian Ocean Tsunami and the 5th anniversary of the Haiti Earthquake. Together, the disasters caused the deaths of over 300,000 people and affected millions more.

Another aftermath that is less talked about is the humanitarian response to this catastrophes. The Indian Ocean Tsunami had the most in-depth and comprehensive evaluation since the Rwanda genocide and the sobering conclusion was that the humanitarian system required a fundamental reorientation in the way it worked. Amongst its main recommendations, it suggested humanitarians had to pay more attention to local structures, be more attuned and sensible in their relationship with affected people and act in a more coordinated manner with other actors in the system.

The sector was put to the test five years later, when Haiti was rocked by an Earthquake from which Haitians and humanitarians are still working to recover. Did the system take on board the lessons from the Tsunami when responding to the Haiti Earthquake? Are humanitarians learning to adapt to context? How have these experiences influenced humanitarian programming? What lessons have emerged that we have still to learn and put in practice to improve future responses? 


Azwar Hasan

Founder and Chair Person

Forum Bangun Aceh-FBA

Jo Da Silva



Joe Leitmann

Lead DRM coordinator specialist and environment coordinator for Indonesia

World Bank

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