Delivering Effective Tsunami Relief Funded By Unocal
The 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia devastated much of the coastal regions of Aceh, Indonesia, causing great human suffering and destruction. Global companies contributed quickly and generously to support the unprecedented humanitarian effort. After a few months, however, simple humanitarian relief proved to be insufficient, leaving many with an interest in finding a more effective and sustainable way to help with the long-term reconstruction efforts.
Unocal (now Chevron) has significant investments in Indonesia, and themselves shared a strong interest in supporting Acehnese efforts to recover from this crisis. In an effort to find mechanisms for this support, the firms visited a DAI-managed conflict mitigation project sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This project, underway when the tsunami hit, had immediately begun recovery efforts in 50 communities, providing cash-for-work programs at first, then helping communities plan their long-term recovery.
Unocal was impressed with this community-led approach to reconstruction, whereby the community, rather than NGOs or other outside organizations, determined their own priorities and inclusive approaches to rebuilding their communities. With a goal of empowering communities through facilitated planning and conflict management, DAI was helping these communities to quickly rebuild infrastructure and jumpstart economic activities.
Unocal and several other global energy companies generously supported the expansion of the USAID project to include 11 additional communities, representing approximately 7,000 individuals in the tsunami-affected region. As a result, DAI was able to help Unocal to:
- Demonstrate its commitment to the people and communities of Indonesia
- Commit company investments directly and immediately to the affected communities without wasted time or resources
- Ensure that stable communities were on the path to recovery and prosperity