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Indonesia Humanitarian Background

Indonesia is one of the world's most susceptible nations to natural disasters, with more than 600,000 people a year suffering from their consequences (2009 UN Global Assessment on Disaster Risk Reduction). In the first quarter of 2011 alone, Indonesia experienced 67 significant earthquakes (5.0 magnitude or higher). Volcanic eruptions, flooding, landslides and tsunamis are continual threats. Disaster resilience and management is therefore a top agenda item for the Government of Indonesia and its international partners, including the UN.  (Source: UNPDF Website

Disasters, Conflicts and Migration

Natural Disasters

Yes / No

Comments / Details


YesDrought conditions have been experienced as a result of climate change and the El Nino phenomenon and can have an impact on economic growth and food security.



Indonesia is a meeting place of three active tectonic plates, the Indo Australian plate to the south, the Euro Asian plate to the north and the Pacific plate in the east. The subduction zone can be traced from northern tip of Sumatra until the Lesser Islands and it creates a deep submarine trench. Most of the earthquakes are related to this seduction zone.



Malaria and Dengue Fever can be found in certain areas within Indonesia. Avian flu is also a potential important risk, for which a specific UN contingency plan is in place.

Outbreaks of Avian Influenza in poultry may raise public health concerns due to their effect on poultry populations, their potential to cause serious disease in people, and their pandemic potential .

Extreme Temperatures



YesSeveral provinces and lowlands throughout Indonesia are prone to flooding. As a result of tropical rainfall, especially east of North Sumatra, North of West Java, Borneo, South Sulawesi and South Papua and parts of Jakarta, Semarang and Banjarmasin.

Insect Infestation



YesLandslides occurring as a result of heavy rainfall, volcanic eruptions or earthquakes. Several provinces and lowlands throughout Indonesia are prone to mudslides.

Volcanic Eruptions

YesIndonesia experiences frequent volcanic eruptions. Indonesia has more than 500 volcanoes with 129 that are active. So far in 2014 there have been two significant eruptions in Mount Sinabung and Mount Kelud. Mount Merapi eruption in 2010 killed more than 300 persons.

High Waves / Surges

YesTsunamis occurring as a result of earthquakes with an epicentre in the ocean have occurred in Indonesia. All districts and cities located on the coast of Aceh, on the Western coast of Sumatra Island, on the Southern coast of Java Island and the Northern coast of Papua are prone to devastating tsunamis. Other areas might face tsunamis, coming from Japan and Latin America. Tidal surges can occur during the Spring tides throughout the country.


YesFires and large-scale smoke and haze due to land clearing activities occur seasonally within Indonesia. They can have an impact on Indonesia as well as neighbouring countries.

High Winds


Other Comments


Man-Made Issues

Civil Strife


International Conflict


Internally Displaced Persons


Refugees Present


Landmines / UXO Present


Other Comments


[1] UNPDF Website

[1] Further information can be found in regards to the UN contingency plans for Avian Flu at -  or

For more detailed database on disasters by country, please see the Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters:

Further information in regards to disasters and preparedness measures that are being undertaken by the Indonesian Government can be found at the following BNPB related websites:

  • BNPB Geospatial : - This website functioned as a map distribution center created and updated by Data and Information Center and Public Relations BNPB.
  • BNPB Disaster Events’ Data and Information (DIBI) : - DIBI supports BNPB in terms of improving disaster response capabilities both at central and provincial levels.

Calamities and Seasonal Affects

Seasonal Affects on Transport



From (month) to (month)

Primary Road Transport

Roads can be affected by national disasters including the impact of the wet season, e.g. heavy rain, flood, landslides and mudslidesNov - Mar

Secondary Road Transport

Roads can be affected by national disasters including the impact of the wet season, e.g. heavy rain, flood, landslides and mudslidesNov - Mar

Rail Transport

The rail network is limited throughout Indonesia, therefore seasonal impacts are minimal. 

Air Transport

Bottlenecks can occur during Eid and Hajj festivals.

Poor weather conditions in rainy season.

1-2 weeks before and after Eid festival and 1 week around Hajj festival (Hijriah calendar).

Nov - Mar

Waterway Transport


Seasonal Affects on Storage and Handling (economic, social, climate...)



From <month> to <month>


Ramadan, Eid and Haj festivals period is a peak of activity, trade and trips; this may lead to congestions, increase in handling, transport and storage costs, with difficulties in securing labourers.

1-2 weeks before and after Eid festival and 1 week around Hajj festival (Hijriah calendar).


Ramadan, Eid and Haj festivals period is a peak of activity, trade and trips; this may lead to congestions, increase in handling, transport and storage costs, with difficulties in securing labourers

1-2 weeks before and after Eid festival and 1 week around Hajj festival (Hijriah calendar).




Capacity and Contacts for In-Country Emergency Response


Disaster Risk Management is a Government of Indonesia priority, as reflected in the Disaster Management Laws issued in 2007, 2008 and 2010, the Medium Term Development Plan (RPJMN 2010-2014), the National action plan for disaster risk reduction 2010-2012 and most recently, the President’s Master Plan for Tsunami Risk Reduction (2013-2019, BNPB 2012).
The Government has significantly strengthened the framework for disaster prevention, preparedness and response by:

  • Establishing the National Disaster Management System (law 24, 2007);
  • Forming the National Disaster Management Board (BNPB, Presidential Regulation No.8, 2008);
  • Regulating the acceptance of international assistance (law 22, 2010);
  • Focusing on enhancing its capacity, and that of local communities, to mitigate risks and to handle forest fires and other hazards;
  • Creation of a rapid action team for handling natural disasters;
  • By Strengthening the Tsunami Early Warning System and the Weather Early Warning System.

The Indonesian Government has realized the importance of a disaster management system to anticipate and respond to disasters. The aim was to build a reliable system of disaster relief which may include several areas that must be strengthened up to the level of legislation, institutional, financing, planning, science and technology in the implementation of disaster management.
Development of a disaster management system is an ongoing activity that was strengthened by the passing of law number 24 in 2007 which documented the nation's commitment to Indonesia in protecting the citizens from disasters.
The Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB) was created and has the functions of coordinator and commander during emergency responses. BNPB is supported by ministers and other government authorities, meanwhile at local level it is supported by BPBD (Provincial Disaster Management Agency) and local government. Currently all BPBD Offices have been established in 33 provinces within Indonesia. National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) is a non-department governmental agency headed by a ministerial-level official. This institution is directly responsible to the President of Indonesia.

The mission of the BNPB is to:

  • Protect the nation from disasters threats through risk reduction
  • Establish a reliable disaster management system.
  • Conduct a planned, integrated, coordinated and comprehensive disaster management response

In case of disasters the provincial level BPBD’s are responsible to respond. The governor should establish an Area Command centre (AC) and appoints a commander (often a person from TNI or BPBD). The AC establishes Incident Command centres (IC) per city (or district) affected, with a commander in charge (see figure National disaster management coordination structure). In case of a large disaster the governor requests national assistance from the BPBD. The BPBD then establishes a Multi-Agency Coordination Centre (MAC). In case the disaster impact exceeds the national capacity to respond, as per law 22, the Min. of Foreign Affairs requests International Assistance or issues a statement “that foreign assistance is welcomed”. BPBD reports to the President. The Governor reports to the Ministry of Home Affairs and this Ministry reports to the President as well.

For information on Indonesia government emergency response , please see the following:

National Disaster Management Coordination Staff Structure

National Disaster Management Coordination Structure

For information on Indonesia Government contact details, please see the following link:

4.2.1 Indonesia Government Contact List

4.2.2 Indonesia Humanitarian Contact Lists

Humanitarian Community

During a BNPB/OCHA workshop in February 2014 BNPB announced that it will adopt a national cluster system modelled on the IASC cluster system but adjusted to the national context.  Relevant ministries have been assigned as cluster leads. The TOR of each cluster, exact roles and responsibilities have not yet been finalized (as of March 2014).

WFP is global cluster lead for the IASC Logistics and Food security clusters. The Government of Indonesia creation of national clusters that relate to these sectors are the Economy cluster for food security, the Health cluster for nutrition, the Logistics cluster plus Structure and Infrastructure cluster for Logistics.  During the Mentawai Megathrust exercise (17-22 Mar 2014) it was evident that the logistics functions currently under Structure and Infrastructure, were in fact discussed and coordinated by the Logistics cluster.  There is no separate national food security & nutrition cluster. During disasters in Indonesia the Ministry of Social Affairs normally provides quickly adequate food rations from stock piles prepositioned in warehouses across the country. 


National cluster system (as of 26 Feb 2014)

ClustersCluster LeadIASC Cluster (co-)Lead 
EducationMin. o. Education & CultureUNICEF/Save the Children
Displacement & Protection*Min. o. Social AffairsUNHCR/IFRC. (incl: Camp management, Protection)
HealthMin. o. Health / Centre for Health crisisWHO (incl: Nutrition)
LogisticsMin. o. Social Affairs / BNPB dep. For logistics & equipment WFP
Structure & Infrastructure*Min. o. Public WorksUNICEF/WFP (incl: WASH, Telecommunications)
EconomyMin. o. agriculture / Min. o. Cooperatives & enterprisesFAO/WFP (incl: food security)
Search & RescueBASARNASn/a
Early RecoveryNot yet fully agreedn/a


*)- “Displacement & Protection” includes protection and shelter and camp management issues.

- “Structure & Infrastructure” includes Telecommunication infrastructure, water & sanitation infrastructure, transport access and debris clearance.

UN Support for Disaster Management:

  • The UN is playing a crucial role in the establishment and implementation of the Indonesia Multi Donor Fund Facility for Disaster Recovery (IMDFF-DR).
  • The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) supports regular capacity development training sessions for staff of the national disaster management agency, BNPB.
  • Logistics challenges can be a major obstacle to delivering a rapid and effective response to disasters. WFP works at the provincial levels in Aceh, Papua and NTT to build up the logistics capacity of the local authorities.
  • UNDP works to make integrate disaster risk reduction (DRR) into the development programmes in Indonesia. The "Safer Communities for Disaster Risk Reduction" programme, in several regions, aims to ensure that development planning accounts for increased disaster risk.

For information on Indonesia Humanitarian contact details, please see the following link:

4.2.1 Indonesia Government Contact List

4.2.2 Indonesia Humanitarian Contact Lists