On December 26, 2004, a massive tsunami fanned across the Indian Ocean, striking 14 countries, including Indonesia. Aceh, the country’s northernmost province, was hardest hit with 220,000 people dead or missing and over a half million left homeless. Towns were decimated and infrastructure was left in shambles. The final damage estimate was $6.2 billion.
The Government of Indonesia stepped in to lead the reconstruction process and established the Agency for the Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of Aceh and Nias (BRR) as assistance poured in from around the world. The World Bank Group, along with other international donors, supported the effort through the $700 million-dollar Multi Donor Fund for Aceh and Nias.
Ten years later, a panel reflected on what was lost and what was learned from the experience of rebuilding Aceh back better.