Country Coordinator

Leading the British Red Cross response to the Indian Ocean Tsunami from 2005 to 2008

We worked with SLRCS in the east of the country: Batticaloa and Ampara: more severely affected by the tsunami, with fewer international actors than the crowded south and western coasts, and already battered by civil war. This was challenging territory, and in the early months we used to cross the lines into LTTE territory in Vaharai, before the war kicked off again and the fishermen we had been helping fled south.

Innovation – We were already using cash transfers for (quite slow and deliberate) livelihoods recovery – but in response to displacement and then people returning to their ‘liberated’ homes, we built on our systems and experience and created a very rapid cash-based response for people returning to shattered homes after being displaced by conflict. We then “sold” this idea to ICRC, and BRCS staff were loaned to ICRC to make this work properly…

Categories: Employment Innovation
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