South Asia earthquake and tsunamis
The South-East Asia earthquake and tsunami, which struck on 26 December 2004, affected 11 countries, killing more than 225 000 and displacing an estimated 1.2 million. The crisis required governments, civil society, humanitarian actors (including non-governmental organizations and donors) and the UN to respond on a scale that had never been seen before.
WHO was able to respond to this disaster thanks to an extraordinary effort at all levels of the Organization, with regional and headquarters staff joining colleagues in WHO's South-East Asia Region to plan and implement WHO's response. Over 200 staff were deployed to the affected countries in the weeks following the disaster. More than 50 departments were involved in providing expertise and technical backup to the field operations.
Information on the crisis and WHO's response
Communicable disease risks and interventions
Communicable disease risk assessement: dengue fever in Indonesia, February 2005
- News release: Tsunami recovery process focuses on long-term health capacity development
Tsunami wreaks mental health havoc
WHO strategy and appeals
- Regional Office for South-East Asia
- Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean
- Regional Office for the Americas: Disasters newsletter
- Management of dead bodies in disaster situations
Reform of WHO’s emergency capacities
WHO is undergoing substantial reform to ensure the Organization's emergency capacities are fit for purpose
Emergency Response Framework (ERF)
ERF is to clarify WHO’s roles and responsibilities and to provide a common approach for its work in emergencies.