Asian tsunami 2004

In Batticaloa, Sri Lanka, women like Sivarasi, Makasewari, and Valliyamma have returned to prawn fishing with new nets and materials provided by Oxfam. Photo: Howard Davies/Oxfam

Oxfam closed the final elements of its tsunami aid programme in 2009.

  • 2.5 million people helped
  • 10,800 wells, 2900 houses, 102 schools, 31 bridges built
  • 100km of roads cleared and constructed

Oxfam's response

Oxfam worked in seven tsunami-hit countries: Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, the Maldives, Myanmar, Thailand and Somalia.

In the wake of the disaster, which killed 227,000
people and left 1.7 million homeless, Oxfam concentrated on immediate needs, emergency shelter, water supply and public health.

As the programmes grew, work focused on helping people make a living and also on efforts to address some of the obstacles survivors faced, such as land rights.

Hundreds of thousands of people are now living in better conditions than they were before the tsunami thanks to the generosity of people around the world.

In total, Oxfam International received NZ$500 million, more than 90 per cent of it donated by the public. A handful of programmes continued into 2009, but all money was transferred to affiliates and partners by the end of 2008. Less than five per cent of the fund has been spent on essential administration.

Rebuilding lives


Sri Lanka: Better foundations Sri Lanka: Rebuilding livelihoods
Sri Lanka: Improving farming methods Aceh: Turning on the water
Aceh: Permaculture takes root India: Artificial reef

In pictures

Latest news

Ten years on: Boxing Day Tsunami response changed lives for good

December 19, 2014

The humanitarian response to the Indian Ocean Tsunami saved lives and gave people the means to rebuild their futures. 10 years on Oxfam provided details on how we responded.

Fifth anniversary of the Boxing Day Tsunami: Oxfam

December 24, 2009

By the fifth anniversary of the 2004 Asian tsunami, December 26, 2009, international agency Oxfam will close the last few remaining tsunami aid projects having helped approximately 2.5 million people. The tsunami response was the largest aid effort Oxfam has ever undertaken in its 67-year history.

Oxfam closes historic tsunami response

December 24, 2008

International development agency Oxfam is preparing to close its response to the Indian Ocean tsunami at the end of this month, four years after the disaster. Oxfam and its local partner organisations assisted 2.5 million people in seven tsunami-affected countries in the largest emergency programme in its history.

Latest stories

December 20, 2007

“With the money I have made from making bricks, I have been able to build my own house,” says Sumana Ranjani proudly. Sumana walks the short distance from her sturdy one-storey house to the deep mud pit from which she extracts the reddish-brown mud to make her bricks, and picks up the wooden frames she uses to mould them. She is one of 20 women in the village of Dambetalawa being assisted by Oxfam’s partner the Ruhunu Rural Women’s Organization (RRWO). With Oxfam’s help, RRWO is assisting a total of 62 female-headed households in three villages in Hambantota district.

December 20, 2007

Oxfam has installed running water in 700 new houses built after the tsunami. Read about the logistics of delivering a gravity fed system and how we "built back better".

December 20, 2007

Five goat-rearing groups in Thandiadi are part of attempts to boost the incomes of vulnerable families in this largely rural area of eastern Sri Lanka, which bore the brunt of the tsunami and is still sporadically affected by the ongoing conflict. Oxfam is assisting 106 such self-help groups in 32 villages in Ampara district.

You can help with future emergencies

Oxfam aims to respond immediately to humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters, but we can only do this if we have funds ready when they are needed. You can help: