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5. Session I: Country priorities for rehabilitation

The representatives from the six tsunami impacted countries presented overviews of the extent of impact in their countries, their responses to date and plans for future rehabilitation.

All countries had already provided considerable assistance to affected people. The response was obviously related to the degree of impact, with the worst-hit countries of Indonesia and Sri Lanka still focussed at providing physical inputs to assist people in re-starting their income generating capacity, while in less-hit areas such as Myanmar the focus was more on preventative measures to mitigate effects of future disasters. Difficulties in reaching all people in need were discussed and it was agreed that close cooperation between NGOs and governments was required to improve this situation.

A large amount of national planning and policy development had already taken place in all countries that included consideration of coastal zoning, sustainable fisheries and environmentally sound aquaculture. However, it was obvious from the discussions at the workshop that further debate and consensus building was required. Several countries recognized that in rehabilitating affected communities it would be possible to improve the performance of the fishery and aquaculture sectors in their countries. These improvements included possible modernization, community-based management and reduction in fishing capacity.

A common theme of all of the country presentations was that the participation of people and communities in the rehabilitation process and adequate consultation was important. Other themes that emerged were the need for more detailed assessments of environment and livelihood, as well as the critical need for effective communication of these needs within the impacted countries and to the international community at large.

As requested, all countries provided input on their priority needs. These included planning and policy development, improved coastal management, training and human capacity building, enhancing government institutions and governance, post-harvest technology leading to better food safety. These needs were further ealaborated during the workshop and incorporated into the programme draft.

A summary of the country presentations is attached in Appendix F.

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