Inter-agency rapid health assessment
End of mission report, from the offshore platform - USS Abraham Lincoln
1. Following the December 26 disaster, damaged roads, a devastated physical and human infrastructure and limited air assets posed huge challenges to early aid efforts. A systematic, detailed overview of the impact of the disaster on people’s well-being had not been possible. Recently, under the overall guidance of the UN Co-ordinator for Sumatra, an inter-agency rapid health assessment team was formed. The team’s objective was to acquire a first-hand picture of events on the ground and advance the collective understanding of the situation. The GoI and its partners can use this assessment to better define targets for relief and implement further lifesaving and life sustaining assistance while laying the foundations for recovery. To overcome logistical constraints and security concerns, the team based itself on a mobile offshore platform, the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. The team did not carry out assessments in the Banda Aceh area, given the number of agencies in that region. Instead, the focus was on the hard-hit area south of Banda Aceh along the coast to Alue Bilie. The inter-agency team comprised 34 people with diverse but complimentary skills and experience. The team was drawn from the following agencies: Government of Indonesia (TNI), Ministry of Health, US Military, USAID, OFDA/DART, AusAID, CDC Atlanta, WHO, OCHA, UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, SCF UK and IRC.
2. This summary report and its associated recommendations should be viewed as a work in progress. The team has based its findings on 25 field missions and ongoing detailed discussions with the Government of Indonesia, MOH, UN, NGOs, combined military forces and local people. As best we can, we have tried to shape our recommendations in a manner that is relevant to the response plans of the GOI, the international community (civilian and military) and local actors. The recommendations aim to improve service provision by steering the international response towards appropriate programming without undermining recovery activities.