Tsunami in Southeast Asia

The call for donations for the victims of the 2004 tsunami raised CHF 227.7 million, making it our biggest fundraising campaign ever. Find out how your donations have been used.

Status : Completed
Emergency relief
Consolidation phase
Funds received: CHF 227,758,937

Most successful Swiss Solidarity campaign ever

On 26th December 2004, one of the most devastating natural disasters of recent times struck Southeast Asia. An undersea earthquake sparked two storm tides that caused damage, some of it devastating, in 13 countries, claiming around 215,000 lives.

Some 15 million people were affected, and 1.7 million lost the roof over their heads.

The terrible pictures, the extent of the disaster, the many countries affected and the sheer numbers of people who died or needed emergency relief – all this aroused unprecedented concern and solidarity with the victims of the disaster.

People in Switzerland donated an unbelievable 227.7 million francs, making the tsunami campaign the most successful fundraising campaign in the history of Swiss Solidarity.

A survivor of the tsunami on Sri Lanka walks through the ruins of his village.

Your donation makes a difference. Thanks to the unbelievable solidarity you showed with the victims of the tsunami, we were able not only to provide emergency relief but also to give the victims a better outlook for the future. Many thanks!

How your donation helped

Our partner NGOs helped the victims of the tsunami with projects tailored precisely to their needs:

  • They distributed food, household items, temporary accommodation, building materials and tools to repair houses, fishing boots etc.
  • The ensured access to clean water
  • They reconstructed homes and communal houses, schools and hospitals
  • They helped the local people to improve their livelihoods, for example by helping them to re-engage in economic activities, to retrain or overcome trauma.

Schoolgirls in a rebuilt school

“112 million francs has gone towards (re-)building houses and properties, providing comfort, stability and security to those who have benefited. Thanks to this, these people will be able to improve their lives. This is worth much more than just a roof over their heads.”
Tony Burgener, Director of Swiss Solidarity

Relief for the victims of the undersea quake

Aid organizations started providing emergency relief in the countries around the Indian Ocean in the immediate aftermath to the tsunami.

Following the emergency relief efforts, our partner organizations immediately began planning long-term reconstruction in the hardest hit countries: Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and Somalia.

We funded a total of 183 projects by 15 partner relief organizations and ten further humanitarian organisations in six countries.

So our tsunami aid efforts are now at an end.


Two girls in Indonesia in front of a row of houses newly built for victims of the tsunami.

A family in front of their new home.

Aid in figures

We used 23 percent of the donations for emergency relief, providing the victims with essential items for survival.

The majority of the donations, 67 percent, was used for reconstruction and to improve livelihoods.

And thanks to the projects, the local people are now better prepared to face any future disaster.

Zudem ist die Bevölkerung dank der Projekte heute besser auf zukünftige Katastrophen vorbereitet.

Eine Evaluatorin im Gespräch mit Betroffenen des Tsunamis in Indonesien

Taking stock 10 years after the tsunami

Ten years after the tsunami occurred, we looked at what had happened to the people who received help from us. We carried out a large-scale independent evaluation, which showed that 90 percent of the people who received aid can once again meet their own basic needs.

However, a little more than 10 percent of those surveyed still face difficulties.

The construction of 23,000 houses meant that many families had to worry less about the future.

Any money that they might have saved could be used for things such as school fees or building up a business. Furthermore, their new houses gave them a better social status.

However, the evaluation showed that for those whose lives were already tough before the tsumani, it is still hard to find a way out of poverty despite the tsuami aid.

Summary of impact analysis (in German)


Full impact analysis

Funds received:

CHF 227,758,937

  • National fundraising day:


  • Projects financed:


  • Number of people helped:

    over 5 million


Our partner organizations operating locally

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If you have any questions or would like to know more about our Foundation, please contact us. We will be happy to answer you.