December 24, 2014 - It has been 10 years since the Indian Ocean tsunami devastated much of the Banda Aceh coast of Indonesia and caused widespread damage and loss of life in many countries, including Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. As we mark the somber anniversary of one of the worst natural disasters the world has ever seen, our thoughts and prayers remain with the families and friends of all those who died or were injured.
In addition to the mass casualties, roughly 1.7 million people were displaced and billions of dollars in damages were incurred. From the onset it was clear that any recovery and reconstruction process would be long and arduous and that the assistance of many international partners would be needed immediately. Canada was proud to contribute and to play a significant role. Individual Canadians and businesses, the provinces and territories, and the Canadian government all contributed to Canada’s considerable disaster and reconstruction response.
Over the past decade, Canada has used the lessons learned from the tsunami catastrophe to help other developing countries better cope with and prepare for natural disasters. The years following the tsunami and the earthquake saw the upgrading of the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), the creation of the Canadian Humanitarian Assistance Fund (CHAF) and the modernization of the Emergency Disaster Assistance Fund (EDAF). These flexible financing tools all exist to facilitate a rapid response to small, medium and large-scale humanitarian crises that affect millions of people every year.
Canada is committed to remaining at the forefront of responses to international humanitarian crises as they arise.
Minister of International Development and La Francophonie