August 12th, 2005

Social Implications and Aftermath of the Tsunami


Troy Duster: Welcome to the opening session of the Centennial of the American Sociological Association. I am Troy Duster and I want to add a special welcome to our international guests, who come from
as far as Indonesia, Australia, Africa, India, Brazil, and a total of 34 countries. They have come a long way to share ideas, exchange perspectives, and to celebrate 100 years of the Association. Now
you will notice that the first part of your program--about page 8--you will see 20 to 22 sessions devoted to some aspect of the history of the discipline, with some overview. There is a commissioned
work and the history of the ASA that will soon be available. There is the History of Sociology Sections book, "Diverse Histories of Sociology," and there is a new edited version of the history of the
field, due out next year, called "Sociology in America" edited by Craig Calhoun. Now all of this signals a kind of extensive self-reflection, but I think it is appropriate for a centennial. Especially
if it lets us raise new and fresh questions about where the field has been recently and where it is about to go. So tonight, our opening session is going to be on the tsunami and its aftermath. But
before we get there, we are going to start out by, in some sense, honoring the centennial with a brief 18 minute film, made by Gale Largey, footage from the achieves, with images of each of the past
presidents with quotes of their distilled wisdom, or lack thereof, from their works. So what we are going to see now is a film of each of the past presidents over a hundred years. [Presentation of
Film - Celebrating the Centennial, The American Association of Sociology - 1905 - 2005] [00:02:24 - 00:20:08] Troy Duster: I will return now to the subject matter of the plenary, which is the tsunami
and its aftermath. In the first three weeks after the tsunami, the media across the world in some ways was inundated, was saturated, with images of what happened there, and the outpouring of support
was extraordinary. And then after about a month, things slowly seemed to disappear, and in the last period we almost heard nothing about the remarkable developments which have taken place there. The
aftermath of that tsunami will have consequences politically, socially, and economically for the next several decades. We turn now to the subject matter. The presider will be will be Kai Erikson, of
Yale University, author of the classic work on the aftermath of disasters, a book called "Everything in Its Path." If you were paying attention to the short film, you know that Kai is also a former
president of the ASA. Kai Erikson. Kai Erikson: You may be able to see me, but let me tell you...I've got two colleagues who are going to join me in a minute, because in a minute we are going to talk
about an event that took place right after Christmas this past year. But we are going to pause for a minute or two to talk about an event that has yet to happen, but is about to. Sally Hillsman. Sally
Hillsman: Thanks, Kai. Much will be said during the 100th Annual Meeting of the ASA about our origins, our leadership, and our scholarship. But one theme will weave like a thread through many of these
discussions and I think if you were looking closely at our former presidents, you will well understand why. And that is the efforts of many sociologists in America and worldwide to have the knowledge
and their research heard when policy is being made. Troy's sub-theme for this centennial meeting, “Accounting for the Rising and Declining Significance of Sociology,” echoes this for some among
us. We often bemoan the short shrift our research findings get when legislators legislate. Sometimes the sociology is built into the legislation, but not always identified as such. Other times, though
rare, the underlying sociology is displayed at the heart of the legislation. A testimony to the myths sociology can dispel. Sociology can demonstrate, guide effective policy. This is one of those
other times. On August 2nd, an Air France passenger plane crashed off the runway, while attempting to land in Toronto. Some media reported panic. Other media, and the passengers themselves, reported
another reality, a reality sociology has been documenting for over a hundred years. It wasn't major panic in Toronto and there wasn't in the World Trade Center, either, on that fateful 11th day of
September 2001. The Air France passengers were frightened and shaken, unimaginably, but because the passengers didn't panic, everyone escaped safely. As sociology has long tried to explain, the people
at the center of disasters are the true first responders. And their typical response is--as the Air France passengers showed--is social cooperation. They facilitated their own rescue. Those of us who
know survivors of the Twin Towers, as I do, know the same thing happened. Many more lives would have been lost but for the cooperative behavior and lack of panic of the thousands of ordinary citizens
who fled the buildings when the airplanes struck. Capitol Hill is beginning to recognize these basic sociological facts. Because knowing how to prepare for disaster at the local level is now a
national concern. Just a few days ago, U.S. Congressman Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island introduced a bill that is heavily informed by sociological research on disasters. There, I think, is in the
back, I believe, is a yellow hand-out on this piece of legislation. His Ready, Willing, and Able Act, or HR 3565, relies upon and acknowledges the work of many sociologists. The last issue of
Footnotes described early meetings by sociologists with Kennedy's legislative staff as he began developing this bill. In general the bill itself, for better or worse, reads like a sociological
research paper. The bill's objective is to change mindsets and get public officials to engage the public in developing emergency plans to avoid documented adverse consequences of plans that fail to
incorporate citizens' knowledge and that alienate ordinary people who are or will be at the center of a disaster. To quote Representative Kennedy, "Direct participatory community-based disaster
planning incorporates unique local conditions of culture, geography, language, and infrastructure as a failsafe against developing unrealistic emergency plans, and gives citizens a meaningful role in
preparing for disaster." Kennedy has already gained bipartisan support from members of the House Committee on Homeland Security and Congressional cosponsors. While we don't know if this bill will
become law, it is an important example of how social science can and does inform federal policies that can affect the nation's well being in major ways. Thank you. Kai Erikson: Carol? Oh, great.
Excuse us one minute: we are going to confer. How's this? The costs of having this filmed and for you to be able to see that wonderful picture over there, is that we can't see very much here. So if
you see us leaning down in a kind of a hunched-over way, trying to look at our notes, this will be one of those costs. This session tonight, as you know, is entitled, "The Social Implications in the
Aftermath of the Tsunami." I kind of reacted to that when you talked about how the view of it has changed since the time. Because when we first discussed having this session, it seemed very obvious
that it should be called, "The Tsunami." Very few disasters are preceded by the word "The." The earthquake, the flood--I think by now is an "A" and it is one of the unfortunate things that news about
it seems to be disappearing. I think, as you will probably find, just at the time when it ought to be broadcast all the more. We have two speakers today. I am going to introduce them in alphabetical
order now, but I am going to ask them to make their presentations in the reverse alphabetical order. So let me introduce first Carol Bellamy, who name comes easily to the tongue, because we come from
the same part of the world. Who, as of this year, is President of World Learning for International Development, but in the decade before that was Executive Director of UNICEF. In the decade before
that, it was actually twelve years ago if I added it correctly, was Director of the Peace Corps, having been a volunteer in that organization from 1963 to 1965. And in a time long past, but not easily
forgotten at all, she had a considerable public life in New York City and in New York State before that. Those of us who live in suburbs of New York, like New Haven, remember it well and with a great
deal of admiration. Our second speaker is Imam Budidarmawan Prasodjo, which does not come easily to the tongue for some people, like from where I come. Although, he comes easily into my acquaintance,
because we've known each other a short time and well already. Who is a professor in the faculty of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Indonesia and Director, and if I gather correctly,
founder, of Nurani Dunia Foundation, which as you will hear from his report in a few minutes, was established to undertake humanitarian aid for the victims of both natural and social disasters. Now
both of our speakers tonight were in the unusual position to able to see and to get a sense of and to think about the affects of that tremendous event that took place on the day after Christmas in
2004, upon the people that were caught in its wake. They have been in an unusual position since, to see and to get a sense of and to think about the ways in which local communities, national
communities, and the world community itself all together, can be of help in reducing human and cultural costs of such an event as this one was. My assignment--I think it says in the program—is to
act as discussant. I am not going to try and do that in the usual sense. But when they are done, I will serve as maybe a kind of opener to the discussion that I think will ensue not only up here, but
in the floor, by making a few observations about disasters in general and maybe converting those into questions. And they can be questions can be to us--they can be questions to anybody on the floor
who would like to speak on them, or if they are neither of those, then they at least can be the questions that I would have had in mind, if I had gone to that part of the world at the time that they
did. So may I first call upon--I am going to call him Budi...he invited me to. I am so pleased and I am going to do that right now. Imam Budi Prasodjo: I am a little bit discouraged to talk after I
read the remark on the film that sociologists talk too much to themselves. I was wondering whether I should consider myself as a sociologist or just like you--ordinary citizen or social workers.
Because before I came here, I mostly stay in Aceh and worked with the people. But, I would like to thank to Professor Duster, to Professor Erikson, and also to Dr. Hillsman, for inviting me here.
Because this is... for probably more than ten years since I didn't get together with many sociologists, because I have been away for quite some time. But I am coming here to give you... to share with
you what I saw, what I felt and then what I have been trying to do to help the victims of the tsunami. As you know, the tsunami, this is one of the biggest disasters. I had prepared for the speech,
but I think I forgot and then I just want to speak directly because it will be easier for me to express the feeling. Also, I have prepared a video clip, 10-minute video clip, edited before I came
here. Because to express the situation in Aceh, it's impossible with words, especially with the broken English I have. So let me begin, well I want to focus on the impact of the tsunami on Aceh, the
province of Aceh, for several reasons. First, Aceh is one of the areas that were hit hardest, compared to others. The second one is that Aceh is the area that is unique in terms of the area has been
series of conflicts before the tsunami. And the third reason is because I am from there. So that is very clear. If we can focus first... okay, I should do this... if you see, for those of you who are
not familiar with Indonesia, Aceh is located here, in the northern tip of Sumatra Island. The whole of Indonesia is over here. So when we talk about the tsunami, this area has been hit and then the
causalities or the victims of the tsunami is more or less 128,000 confirmed dead and then 37,000 missing. So this is also obviously possibly died, also. Now there are around 550,000 displaced in Aceh
and then 900 confirmed dead in Nias. Nias is north of Sumatra. You can see, let's go back to the area here and it hit also the island here in the western part of Sumatra. If you see, we have... I
cannot see, can I just go down?... okay, we can see here, tsunami destroyed so many infrastructures that now has damage because of the tsunami. Well, I cannot read it from here; it is not very clear.
But you can see over here the destruction on the housing, infrastructure, public institutions, education, health, and the livelihood. So with this, basically Aceh is completely destroyed. And then,
you can see also, this is the animation that we got from the internet, that not only in Indonesia, but also a number countries like Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Somalia, Burma, Maldives, Malaysia,
Tanzania, Bangladesh, and Kenya. This is a much clearer picture of it here. This really destroyed many areas in the world. But the largest hit occurred in Aceh or North Sumatra. These are the
areas--mostly in coastal areas of the western part of Aceh. I'll move quicker. So the thing that most people are not aware, is that before the tsunami hit Aceh, Aceh had been a troubled area. It has a
long history of social conflicts and poor standards of living over there. After the tsunami, it was kind of a blessing. Aceh, because of the conflict, has been a closed society. It has been very
difficult as there has been rebellions over there. After the tsunami the people coming from different parts of the world and then all of a sudden it became an open society. I will make a little detail
on this. The timeline of the history of Aceh. In 1500, Acehnese was a kingdom, but we had interaction with Portuguese, British, Dutch, Japanese, and many other countries as well. But in 1945, when
Indonesia declared its independence, Aceh joined Indonesia and then this area has been a major contributor to Indonesia. People donated gold and money to buy airlines. The first airlines, Indonesian
Airlines, was donated by Acehnese. In 1950, the Acehnese became angry with Indonesia, because this area had been merged into the North Sumatra Province, as they felt they had their own identity. But
when they merged and they were angry, they rebelled. This is an area where Muslim has been one of the strong identities and then North Sumatra mostly Christians. So when it became part of North
Sumatra, it became a problem. In the 1970s...well I am sorry it was from 1953, 1963 the rebellions occurred. In the 1970s during the Suharto administration there was a big exploration of oil and gas.
Unfortunately, the government at that time absorbed all the wealth from Aceh and transferred it into the central government, and left nothing to the Acehnese. So they get angry and in 1976, there is
another rebellion, but the nature of the cause of the rebellion is different. In the 1950s, because of the identity thing, you know, the Islamic thing, but in 1976, the freedom movement was caused by
the anger of not getting enough wealth from the government, doesn't have enough share from the central government. Then after that, during Suharto, instead of trying to negotiate to make peace or
dialogue, they sent in troops. We then had a series of military operations. We also had what we call “military operation areas” that created a lot of... many civilians got killed. This is actually
the time where the Acehnese freedom movement got big support from the civilians, big support from the Acehnese. In 1998, after the Suharto finished, because of the reformation and the people's
movement, there was hope to better the Acehnese. After that, there was a series of negotiations, peace negotiations up to now. The recent president realized that to deal with the separatist movement
was not to implement policies using military force, but to share wealth and also try to win their hearts and minds. That is what Bambang, President Yudhoyono is trying to do. Again, it is not easy.
The war is still going on, like that. But on December 26, 2004, there was a tsunami. So this is a closed society because of the war, but all of a sudden in one day, everybody came there. Right now
there is no less than 250 NGOs, international NGOs opened offices in Aceh. And then 430 NGOs, domestic NGOs also in Aceh. So you can imagine in an area that has been very closed, very homogeneous, and
then all of sudden we are receiving guests from many different cultures, ethnicities, religions. So to make the discussion much faster--now what would be the impact? Of course they have social and
political changes over there. What I tried to.. two major kinds of changes. First were the changes experienced by the people from Aceh as direct result of the earthquake and tsunami that destroyed
their sources of livelihood. So this is something that has never happened in the history of humankind. More than 200,000 people died. I will show you in a minute in a video. But then the second one
were the changes that resulted from the massive influx aid from outside Aceh--something that opened Aceh to the outside world in a way that had never happened before. It was a very closed society and
it now became a very open society. So now the Aceh who had been very isolated, because of these people coming--hundreds of people from all over the world, thousands of people from all over the
world--and then all of a sudden the Acehnese became the center of attention. This had never been seen by the Acehnese. The Indonesian military used to be very hated by the Acehnese and now they are
helping them. You know, doing operations other than war. This is also something that I had asked the Acehnese, what do you think? Well, the military, the Indonesian military should do that long
before, not carrying guns. Since most of the military are Javanese and now so many volunteers and NGOs are from Java. They interact correctly and it surprised them. Not all Javanese are bad, many of
them are very good. So this was the first time in the history that the Acehnese got a chance to interact with the real Javanese, not the military who brings guns, who is bringing guns over there. The
third one is the change in the power structure. In Aceh, the public sphere used to be dominated by the military, separatist movements, and the local government. But now, we have other players, which
are civil society, civil society organizations. As I mentioned to you, more than 250 NGOs from all over the world were now opening an office in Aceh. And then also 430, more than 430 NGOs from all
over Indonesia came to Aceh to help. Something that had never happened before. The fourth one is strong domestic and external pressure for peace. Of course, we were trying to help to rebuild Aceh. The
process of development will be smoother if there is peace. So that is why the international, as well as the domestic give much pressure to the government, as much as the rebellion, the separatist
movement to make peace. Because otherwise, you know, it is very difficult to rebuild Aceh if there is no peace over there. Then Aceh development in the future may be better, because before all the
development is dominated by the bureaucrats and contractors, the corrupt contractors I would say. But now, many experts, many people who have knowledge, experience, UNICEF, you know--all over the
world. So that is why we are very hopeful that Aceh will be much better than it is now. But there are concerns. First is cultural insensitivity. Many people do not even speak Indonesian or even worse,
they don't know about Aceh. They don't know the culture, but they come there and they try to introduce many things that maybe are not suitable to the Acehnese. One of the examples is the world help.
They tried to help the Acehnese orphans. What they did, however, was they were trying to put this Acehnese school--of course almost all of the orphans are Muslim--and they tried to put them in a
Christian primary. They declare it as the one way to save--well I better quote on this. It was quoted in the Washington Post that created a debate in Aceh, because what they were trying to do was...
"The Aceh people strongly and even violently opposed other religions." This is what the World Help said. "They are un-reached with the gospel. If we can place the Muslim orphans in a Christian
children’s home, their faith in Christ could become the foothold used to reach the Acehnese people." So you can imagine people with a different background and when the orphans would try to be
helped, but with this kind of a statement. But you create anger, but they are welcoming people to help. But when this kind of help, it will create suspicion. The second one is the strengthening of the
Islam base political identity amidst changes taking place as a result of increased openness, which could result in a new conflict among the Acehnese. One part of the policy that is given by the
government is to give Aceh Sharia law, I mean the implementation of Islam in this area for reducing the conflict. But the problem is that when the Sharia is implemented, many Acehnese are not
comfortable. Let's say the practice of caning--like when a gambler is caught and they do the caning. So not only from Indonesia outside of Aceh, but the Indonesian inside of Aceh are reluctant. So can
be the source of conflict in the future. The third one is a militaristic culture in resolving problems may return. Because if we fail to make a better Aceh through a peaceful approach, than probably
the military will come again. This is the way that is more efficient, but not like right now. The fourth one is top-down and non-participatory development. I noticed Professor Erikson is a big fan of
community development. I welcome this. Because in Aceh many people want to develop, they design behind a desk. They don't even know the needs of the community. So what we really encourage Aceh is
participatory development with the people involved, not just the Acehnese being an object. But we want them to be a subject. But what will happen in Aceh--many of the Acehnese are really watching what
is going on. They are excluded from the process. So the top-down and non-participatory development can be a problem, source of future problem. Next is alienated and lack of sense of belonging, because
of that. And then more frustration and more lack of trust. If the government fails to combat corruption and then they work slow, you know, and then the Acehnese are not patient, living in a tent with
very, very limited resources. So next, this is, you know, the before and after. A closed society before and then after, an open society. Limited role of civil society organizations and then now we
have much more people involved. Lack of freedom because of the conflicts and now because of so many people coming, there is much more freedom. Less economic equity because of the conflict, but now the
government has already provided a special economy that gives more share to the Acehnese. So many, many changes happen. We are really hopeful that the peaceful agreement that will be signed in three
days, 15th of August, will really be working, which is being monitored by the international community. So next... So in conclusion, we are really hopeful that Aceh may be currently described as a
massive social laboratory during the reconstruction and rehabilitation states. The questions will arise as to whether conflict resolution can be realized. And also whether a plural society can be
created and whether the principle of good governance--because the Aceh is well known to be number one corrupt province in Indonesia. So with the tsunami and with the participation of the whole people
watching, hopefully this will be the first province free from corruption, if it is successful. So we realize that the problem is not an easy one to solve, but this tragedy can be transformed into
emotional solidarity as we make use of every capacity we have to develop compassion and truly define our fortunate people and community for developing a feeling of willingness and togetherness. If the
victims of the tsunami are the responsibility of us all, as a human being, so also the future of Aceh and other places, I said other places because it is not only Aceh have been hit by the tsunami,
will be determined by us all. In a situation where natural disasters are commonly placed all over the world, academics need to come down from their ivory towers and work in a concrete manner for
change and improvement, so as to relieve the burden of suffering on human beings. So I really believe that, if successful with the tsunami, there is a blessing that the future of Aceh hopefully will
be better. The participation of people, volunteers all over the world will change the lives of the future generations of Aceh. And I am privileged to speak in front of the sociologists here. If Aceh
can be part of the research and part of the place that can be used to make a better life over there. So this is kind of a challenge for sociologists. I remember—I quote--I forgot the former ASA
president, but he said--I think sociologists should foster our freedom. I would like to continue with a film that will be much more communicative, rather than what I am saying. This was done by my
children, I have my children with me to be a narrator. I also have a guest, Mr. Talimut, who has been meeting with me in Aceh from Operation USA. And I also have my friend from Ohio, Anne Tickamyer.
We met so many people in Aceh, who became part of the movement. I would like to present you, of course this is not as good as the film that you have, Professor Duster, but well who knows...seeing is
believing. What is really happening in Aceh is impossible to describe with words. Please. Presentation of Film: Aceh At The Crossroads - Rebuilding Aceh From Tsunami to Peace Imam Budi Prasodjo: Thank
you. Let me conclude this presentation by reading this. I believe that in any human tragedy there are always great opportunities to promote human solidarity, to help others who are in desperate need.
I have witnessed thousands of people from all over the world coming to Aceh and joining hands in a united effort to alleviate the suffering, to express sympathy and condolences to those who have lost
loved ones. I believe in a dream for Aceh that will unite the people, allow for a peaceful transition to democracy, build tolerance and a pluralistic society, and promote prosperity. Thank you very
much. Carol Bellamy: Well I don't know how many of you have been to the theater when somebody walks out and says the role of Julia Roberts tonight will be performed by Mildred Jones, but that's me. I
am actually a late substitute on this panel, but delighted to be here. As Kai indicated, I'm Carol Bellamy, I am now actually the President and CEO of World Learning and the School of International
Training. But at the time of the impact, at the time of the hit of this particular natural disaster, I was completing my ten years as the Executive Director of UNICEF, the United Nations Children's
Fund. And so at that point, within, actually, a week of this event, I traveled both to Indonesia, to Aceh. Nias, as the professor indicated, happened a little bit later. But I traveled both to Aceh
and to Sri Lanka at that time and subsequently to Thailand. I haven't actually personally viewed some of the damage in the Maldives, which was a different kind of thing, the water hit with a smash in
Aceh. It hit with waves in Sri Lanka. It just basically rose over the Maldives, they were sinking anyway--which is a problem for a country. In any case, so I hadn't until about three months ago, even
come to you as anyone having anything to do with academia, other than vaguely getting through my own small attempt at becoming a lawyer thirty--forty years ago, I guess now, at NYU, Troy. But at least
now I have at least an academic connection and that's about it. I am still trying to learn my way through academics. I will talk to you more this evening, very briefly without frankly a PowerPoint or
a video, from the perspective of somebody who has been involved in humanitarian responses. Since you are talking about disasters, I also would say that if you scratch someone who has been involved in
humanitarian responses, they would talk to you both about natural disasters, but they would also talk about complex emergencies. They are obviously very different and yet some of the lessons-- and I
just want to touch on a couple of guiding principles, at least that I use and a couple of lessons learned. Are not totally different in terms of the two, complex emergencies being more and natural
disasters. Although there are some very big differences. The response and follow-up to natural disasters tends more or less to be linear, whereas with respect to complex emergencies it's not: you go
forward--you come back--you go forward--you go back. In fact, it is estimated that perhaps in 40% of the cases, you actually go back into conflict before you complete the conflict. One last comment
about war, because we're not talking about war, but those are the major disasters in the world today, if one wants to really put that into some context. In no particular location--I could take you to
every continent of the world and just list the countries where conflicts are going on. Because the face of war has changed in the world today. It is no longer between two countries for the most part,
despite the fact that you will occasionally see a person in a military uniform on your television--war today in the world is actually not military anymore. Fifty of the fifty-five conflicts since 1990
have been within countries, despite--not despite and it’s not good—but in World War II about 70% of the casualties were military. In the 21st century, 90% of causalities of war today are civilian.
They are not military. Military tactics are not used, they are civilian tactics. Civilian tactics are far more horrific than military tactics have ever been. They are how do I most hurt my enemies.
So, some of the principles that I am going to offer you, or guiding principles here--deal with both natural disasters and war. One other comment--generally about natural disasters, then I'll talk a
little bit about the tsunami-- is that natural disasters have also been becoming more devastating in their impacts over the years. They are what they are. They are natural disasters. It is not that we
can necessarily prohibit an earthquake or a flood, but the scale of the impact of natural disasters in the world today and the human impact has become greater. In large measure because one,
environmental damage so that deforestation for example allows floods to become much greater in their impact. And two, because in most cases the most fragile portions of the world that are the most
subject to natural disasters, are generally populated by the poorest people. The poorest people therefore are the least able to respond to these natural disasters. So, just a couple words on the
tsunami--just as a reminder, it happened on December 26, 2004. On December 26, 2003, exactly one year before, was another very major disaster: the earthquake in Bam, in Iran. In thirteen seconds, over
30,000 people died. There are those of us who are thinking, “Why do these disasters keep happening at vacation time?” It is really hard getting everybody back to work, I will tell you at this
point. But just a reminder that we think about the tsunami--this tsunami was indeed--this massive earthquake and then this impact of the water off the coast of Sumatra--triggered literally the worst
natural catastrophe in living memory. And you have to understand it in its different aspects. I mean we had two countries hurt the most--were Aceh--where the loss of life was extraordinary. It was
just the most extraordinary loss of life. And the devastation. One of the things--well if I were an architect--I would say we have to figure out who builds mosques these days, because the only thing
left standing was that mosque. It was damaged, but not damaged that badly. So we have to figure out who builds the mosques. But the devastation in Aceh was just horrendous. It gave new meaning to the
word debris. Debris turned out to be large sides, concrete sides of buildings, until the point literally where the water stopped. Then it was as though nothing had happened. But it went in for miles
and miles and miles and miles and miles. But even in a place like Malaysia, which was probably of all the countries the least hit--in Malaysia it was the worst natural disaster that Malaysia had ever
had. Even though in the context of the entire impact, it wasn't as great. Again, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Indonesia being dreadfully hit in that one area, in the tip. Although, slow to respond for
several reasons in Indonesia...because one it was Aceh, which was cut off, it was a war area. Nobody even cared about that part of Indonesia any more. Remember Indonesia is the fourth largest country
in the world, population-wise. And it was so far away from Jakarta, from the capital--that nobody knew for a while and everybody was dead, including a lot of the government workers. Whereas, Sri Lanka
was hit—if you think of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka remember is the teardrop--and then you have to think about almost three-quarters of the teardrop was hit along the coast. Luckily Colombo, the capital
was not, but it came all the way down, and the Tamil area hit the most. So there it was, 26 December 2004, the worst natural catastrophe in living memory. It has been seven months. Within this
relatively short period of time, a great deal has changed. The dead have been buried. And there were many. If I have a picture that stands out in my mind of Aceh...was almost...it was the number of
body bags that were on the side of the road. It was like when you put out your garbage and when you put out your recycling or whatever you put out. It was almost, there were just bags and bags and
bags and bags and bags. And we all knew what was inside those bags. But it's been seven months and what has happened? Well within this relatively short period of time, a great deal has happened. The
dead have been buried, the homeless have been given shelter, the orphaned have received care and protection--and I do want to say something about that. Actually, for everybody who worried about the
orphans, and one should, the fact is there were more parents looking for children than children looking for parents. You can understand that by virtue of the fact that this was the kind of a disaster
that killed everyone, but killed the weakest more than the strongest. So the children who couldn't outrun or couldn't climb the trees were obviously more victims. So for everybody who talked about all
these orphans, there are some orphans, but the fact is that there were more parents looking for children, than there were children looking for parents. Even in the hardest hit areas, rebuilding has
begun. Children are attending classes again, many of them in temporary facilities. Health centers are being rehabilitated and their services upgraded. There are signs of recovery, although slow--they
are on the way. We have already heard if you have to find something good and indeed something good out of something bad—certainly in Aceh the potential of opening up. And to a lessor degree in Sri
Lanka, because again one of the hardest hit areas of Sri Lanka was also the war area of Sri Lanka. One of the crazy things about a natural disaster in a war area is that it also moves the land mines
around. Displaces them and in fact some of that happened, particularly in Sri Lanka. If I look through the eyes of children for a moment--since I was dealing with children for a while--1.2 million
children have been immunized against measles. This is a disease that we don't take very seriously in this country anymore, because everyone gets immunized, but it is a disease that actually kills. You
can have a real big outbreak, when there's a major adjustment or catastrophe in a place. Hundreds of thousands have access to adequate sanitation facilities--something that they didn't have in the
first place. It was easier to get clean water to people than it was to able to make sure that they had adequate sanitation. Three-quarters of a million children have been given school supplies,
enabling virtually all children in all of the countries to return to school within two months of the disaster. I would say all of the countries other than probably Somalia, because they weren't in
school in the first place. But the other countries...virtually even though the schools started later--virtually all schools opened again. Temporary facilities, they weren't the original schools, but
they did start. Remember the lead--this is very interesting about this now about this natural disaster--in virtually every one of these countries, it was the government that was in the lead. There
were hundreds and hundreds of NGOs and there were UN agencies, but it was the government in the lead. Yet much remains to be done for adults and children. For communities in general. Livelihoods must
be restored. Homes rebuilt. Permanent schools and health centers need to be constructed and adequate water and sanitation systems must be made available to all. Its not simply a question of
construction. That's the important thing. It is not just infrastructure before rebuilding can begin in earnest. Many complex issues will have to be resolved, including land rights, property ownership,
and new safety regulations. Governments which themselves suffered tremendous losses in the tsunami--government officials were killed along with everyone else-- must be revitalized and mobilized.
Communities need to be consulted and planning must be careful and deliberate to ensure that the reconstructions--and I'm talking about physical and human--is done in a way that is safe, equitable, and
sustainable. Full recovery will take years and require the unwavering commitment of the governments themselves, the people themselves, and the international community. So quickly, five guiding
principles and a couple challenges. One, we have heard it in the first presentation. One wishes not to have a disaster, but if you are going to have a disaster, than use it as an opportunity. So build
back better. That is a guiding principle for all disasters. And I am not just again, talking about physical infrastructures. Wherever possible, help strengthen and build back the services to a higher
standard than what was available before the disaster. Secondly, improve capacities to address chronic challenges. Whatever those challenges are. Whether those challenges are the challenges of war, as
we saw in Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Or whether they were the challenges of trafficking of human beings, as happens in that area. Use it as an opportunity to strengthen the capacities. Whether it is the
access to potable water, use it as an opportunity to strengthen the capacities. Third, avoid creating or exacerbating disparities. Again, the point was made: cultural differences. It's very important
to try and avoid creating or aggravating tensions between areas that are receiving assistance and those that are not. And understand that those there were not directly affected may have been
indirectly affected. That's my fourth principle: assist people and governments affected directly, but also those indirectly. I will use this as an example--many peoples whose homes and livelihoods
were spared from the waves nevertheless were affected by the tsunami. And you can say this with any other disaster. Governments that were already under-resourced, must now rebuild at tremendous costs,
potentially diverting resources from other budgets. Many people displaced in the coastal areas have gone inland. They have taken shelter inland placing additional pressure on host communities.
Assistance must be provided for everyone. This is a big challenge in any kind of situation where you have displaced people. We learned it a long time ago with respect to refugees and displaced people.
And finally: transparency and accountability are critical. Challenges, you have heard some--I am going to mention a couple. We have heard about the cultural sensitivity. Three others I have
mentioned—one of them, first the capacity of local actors, because we are talking not just about central governments and natural disasters, but we are talking about the local actors at central,
district, and local levels. The capacity, already strained, is now put to even greater tension in this case. Under-resourced and strained in some cases by years of conflict or just suffering from lack
of any kind of training in the first place. So that is a challenge. The second challenge is balancing rapid results with sustainable results. You said it in your introduction, we all heard about it...
everybody went, we saw a lot of things in the beginning and very importantly--it was very important what happened in the beginning. It is amazing how many people were affected and there was no major
dramatic outbreak of disease. I can think of no other natural disaster where that has occurred. Nevertheless, to assume rapid results--when you have a scale of a disaster this great--is just
impossible. So you have to balance that. And yet at the same time, it is not good enough to just say, "trust me." You have got to actually make sure that there are measurements against what you can
see are moving. And finally, access. Access to populations continues to be difficult. It is important to ensure that there is equity in response to natural disasters. Do not exacerbate already
existing conditions in natural disasters, by virtue of responding based on an overlay that has existed in the past. Try and make sure that everybody has been responded to as much as possible. So those
are my general comments. I think I am going to stop at this point, because we are down to about three seconds before you get to go have a party. I would be glad to respond to any kind of questions or
response that you would like to raise. Thank you very much for inviting me.