A trust fund to help establish a tsunami early warning system for the Indian Ocean region got under way today with a $10 million contribution from the Government of Thailand, with the aim of preventing a repetition of last December's disaster, a United Nations regional commission announced.
The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) said in Bangkok that it will administer the trust fund, part of the broader UN response to the tsunami. An Advisory Council will include representatives of UNESCAP and key donors.
The fund will help to finance capacity-building in expertise, technologies and organizational arrangements for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System's network of national and regional centres. The system is being coordinated by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC).
Thailand is one of five countries in the Indian Ocean region planning to develop their national capability to provide timely warning of tsunamis generated along the Indonesian seismic zone and its extensions. It is also cooperating with the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC), an international entity located in the country, in establishing a regional centre.