OFFICE FOR THE COORDINATION
OF HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS (OCHA)
CONTRIBUTION TO TSUNAMI RELIEF AND
exchange experiences and build partnerships for
RECOVERY
increased regional response preparedness. The national
As aid workers and military personnel from the Indian
workshop in Thailand was held on 30 31 May 2005 and
Ocean region and around the world deployed in
helped to highlight areas of successful response and
response to the 26 December 2004 earthquake and
ways of improving emergency preparedness. Specifically,
tsunami, bringing with them vast quantities of aid,
participants agreed that the response of the Royal Thai
OCHA worked to facilitate the delivery of relief by
Government to the tsunami had been effective, as
supporting Resident/Humanitarian Coordinators, UN
highlighted by the fact that very limited secondary loss
Country Teams and local authorities. This work included
of life was experienced in the affected areas. Main find 
managing information, facilitating contributions to
ings also called for the development of a comprehen 
relief projects, and resolving logistical bottlenecks at
sive national preparedness and response plan, im 
a regional level.
proved utilization and management of resources in
emergencies, and the protection of vulnerable groups.
In Thailand, OCHA s support for emergency efforts
began with the immediate deployment of a United
Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination
(UNDAC) Team to Bangkok and the affected areas. This
team was able to liaise with relevant government and
military authorities, help organize inter agency assess 
ments to establish humanitarian needs, and facilitate
coordination at various levels. The UNDAC Team, which
consisted of seven international disaster response
experts, remained in place throughout the initial
phase of the response.
Drawing upon its Emergency Cash Grant facility, OCHA
was also able to quickly provide financial support, in
the amount of USD 50,000, to cover limited priority
needs linked to the first response. Thereafter, OCHA
worked locally, regionally and at international level to
consolidate the financial requirements of the international
community and to advocate vis a vis donors for the
coverage of outstanding needs. Through its Regional
Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, OCHA also
ensured a continuous flow of information to the world
media on the tsunami s impact and the priority
humanitarian needs.
Five months after the tsunami, OCHA organized
national lessons learned exercises in the worst affected
countries with the participation of key actors from the
Government, United Nations system, and NGO sector.
SE
These local exercises were followed, in June 2005, by a
XE
regional lessons learned and best practices workshop
NN
held in Indonesia, at which national delegations could
A
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