A Place to Stay, a Place to Live: Challenges in Providing Shelter in India, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka after the Tsunami

After 26 December, Oxfam International mounted the largest humanitarian effort in its 63-year history. In the 11 months since, we have helped some 1. 8 million people, 3 using the $278m given to us. Once the emergency relief was done, we turned to recovery and reconstruction. This covered a range of issues: the provision of clean water and sanitation; the reviving of livelihoods; rehabilitating agricultural land; giving women and men a say in the rebuilding of their lives and communities. The watchwords have been ˜reconstruction plus', i. e. seeking to help poor communities to escape the poverty that made them so vulnerable to natural disaster in the first place. However, perhaps one of the most important activities has been ” and continues to be ” the provision of shelter.