Challenges and Opportunities

Indonesia is one of the world's most susceptible nations to natural disasters, with more than 600,000 people a year suffering from their consequences (2009 UN Global Assessment on Disaster Risk Reduction). In the first quarter of 2011 alone, Indonesia experienced 67 significant earthquakes (5.0 magnitude or higher). Volcanic eruptions, flooding, landslides and tsunamis are continual threats. Disaster resilience and management are therefore a top agenda item for the Government of Indonesia and its international partners, including the UN.

The disaster management structure is still evolving at sub-national levels. The degree of disaster preparedness varies greatly between provinces, highlighting a need for local strategies for disaster risk reduction and disaster preparedness. Considerable investment and reform, with support from international partners, continues to be needed for Indonesia to consolidate its capacity for disaster management.

Government Priorities

Government Priorities

The Government of Indonesia has prioritized the control and management of natural disaster risks in its National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN 2010-2014). The Government has significantly strengthened the framework for disaster prevention, preparedness and response, with one of its priorities being to increase the capacity to overcome natural disasters. In 2011, Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was designated as Global Champion of Disaster Risk Reduction by the United Nations.

The Government is focusing on enhancing its capacity, and that of local communities, to mitigate risks and to handle forest fires and other hazards; on the creation of a rapid action team for handling natural disasters; and on strengthening the Tsunami Early Warning System and the Weather Early Warning System. Effective and coherent action for disaster recovery in the several years following a disaster is also a top priority.

National Capacity and International Support

National Capacity and International Support

Indonesia has significant national expertise and resources, including volunteer groups, to respond to disasters. At the same time, the Government sometimes welcomes assistance by international agencies already present in the country -- both to respond to disasters and to support coordination efforts. In the case of medium-scale disasters, such as the 2010 Mentawai islands earthquake and tsunami, and the Mount Merapi eruption, international assistance was not requested, but was welcomed -- several in-country international organizations worked together to bring assistance under the Government's guidance. In the case of major disasters, such as the Padang earthquake in 2009, international assistance was requested.

IMDFF for Disaster Recovery

IMDFF For Disaster Recovery

The Government of Indonesia has recently introduced a new mechanism in support of disaster recovery and preparedness. The Indonesia Multi Donor Fund Facility for Disaster Recovery (IMDFF-DR) has been established to help fund implementation of the Government of Indonesia's Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Action Plans (RENAKSI), formulated in the aftermath of disasters that require international support. In the event of a sudden onset emergency, the IMDFF-DR ensures that funds are immediately available for delivering assistance in the crucial days of early recovery. The mechanism also allows for reduced transaction costs and minimal delays, so that communities will get the support they need to recover from disasters as soon as the initial emergency response stage is over.

UN Support

UN Support

As one of the Government's earliest partners on integrating disaster risk reduction into development programming, the UN family works to ensure that local governments and communities have access to the knowledge and mechanisms that minimize disaster risks. The UN also assists with finding ways to improve disaster response and recovery.

For example:

1The UN is playing a crucial role in the establishment and implementation of the Indonesia Multi Donor Fund Facility for Disaster Recovery (IMDFF-DR).

2The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) supports regular capacity development training sessions for staff of the national disaster management agency, BNPB.

3Logistics challenges can be a major obstacle to delivering a rapid and effective response to disasters. WFP works at the provincial levels in Aceh, Papua and NTT to build up the logistics capacity of the local authorities.

4UNDP works to make integrate disaster risk reduction (DRR) into the development programmes in Indonesia. The "Safer Communities for Disaster Risk Reduction" programme, in several regions, aims to ensure that development planning accounts for increased disaster risk.

While UN agencies work individually to support disaster risk reduction, resilience and recovery, the UN in Indonesia also coordinates these programmes through a working group on Disaster Management, led by OCHA

To learn more about programmes that support disaster management efforts in Indonesia, visit our programme map.

Climate Change

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