Canadian Red Cross marks 10 years since the Indian Ocean tsunami

Topics: National, Asia, Emergencies and Disasters Worldwide
December 26, 2014

(Ottawa, December 26, 2014) From building homes to helping families regain their livelihoods, the Canadian Red Cross has helped communities to ‘build back better’ following the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami that struck on Boxing Day 10 years ago.
 
“Thanks to the overwhelming support of generous Canadians, our decade-long commitment has made a lasting impact,” says Conrad Sauvé, secretary general and CEO of the Canadian Red Cross.  “The work that has been accomplished has been the result of working side-by-side with the incredibly resilient people and communities across the affected regions.”
 
Over the past 10 years, the Canadian Red Cross has implemented a variety of programs in across 12 countries, making major contributing to the recovery and long-term development of thousands of families affected by the tsunami. A key to the success of the recovery process is that the Canadian Red Cross has worked very closely with local communities to ensure programs and projects best met the needs of survivors.
 
In addition to assisting communities through basic health care, water and sanitation, the Canadian Red Cross has supported the construction of 8,500 transitional and permanent homes and the reconstruction or renovation of four hospitals and 127 community infrastructures. Millions of individuals have regained their economic ability through training, loan assistance and small business development with support of the entire International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement. 
 
Rebuilding is about more than replacing what was there before the tsunami. As the Indian Ocean coastline is one of the world’s most disaster-prone areas, the Red Cross committed made the commitment to ‘build back better’, and important steps have been taken to ensure fewer lives will be lost should a similar disaster strike again.

An early warning system has now been established in Indonesia to prevent such a great loss of life. In addition, through the Canadian Red Cross and its partners, thousands of people have been trained in disaster preparedness, as well as first aid, mental health support, and child development and protection. The Canadian Red Cross has reached more than 105,000 students through violence prevention messages in Sri Lanka and India.

“The work of the Canadian Red Cross in tsunami-affected countries was made possible thanks to the generous donations of Canadians and the support of the Canadian government,” adds Sauvé. “Canadians can be proud that their donations have made so much possible in this recovery.”

Most of the Canadian Red Cross-supported development programming has concluded, although support to local Red Cross Red Crescent Societies in Indonesia, the Maldives and Myanmar will continue until 2017 at their request to support plans for enhanced disaster preparedness programming.

The Canadian Red Cross is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which includes the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and 189 national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Our mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world.