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One of the main challenges facing FAO is rebuilding the livelihoods of millions of coastal inhabitants, mostly depending on agriculture and fisheries.
Together with other UN agencies, national governments and other partners FAO is moving forward in assisting the communities to re-engage in agriculture.

The initial phase of rescue and emergency relief is over now, detailed assessments have been made and needs for rehabilitation have been recognised.

FAO’s mandate covers different operational areas:

- Assistance and advice to national and regional governments in developing policies and strategies for recovery and rehabilitation, including integrated coastal area management.

- Training of local field staff: FAO has engaged in different training programs in affected countries.

- Facilitation of informal regional networks of experts working in rehabilitation and assisting in the gathering and dissemination of knowledge on the tsunami in the region.

- Direct procurement and delivery of crucial assets and seeds; and the development and execution of projects to rehabilitate agriculture infrastructure in affected areas. In order to coordinate the various types of activities and ensure appropriateness and timeliness of deliveries field staff has been posted in worst affected areas, while regional coordination is done from the FAO-regional office in Bangkok. Agriculture Staff of FAO provides technical backstopping and develops specific interventions in the fields of assessment and recovery.

To prioritise and to plan action it is imperative to have an overview of the real needs, based on the damages done and on the inherent capacity to recover so that interventions can specifically target the critical issues for rapid recovery.

Immediately after the disaster FAO made an estimate of possible damages to guide initial action. In the first weeks after the disaster FAO conducted preliminary damage assessment missions that were followed by more detailed assessments in the countries affected by the tsunami. The outcomes enable FAO and partners to identify the type of impacts on agriculture and define appropriate emergency and rehabilitation interventions. Consolidated updated assessments of various parts of the affected region are presented at this page.

Emergency and rehabilitation efforts are all based on the assessments of the impact of the damage, and focus on critical elements in the recovery process at different stages. As farmers slowly return to business the focus shifts to less visible types of damage hampering the recovery proces, such as collapse of community strucutres, support services and market chains.

 contact: tsunami@fao.org © FAO, 2005