Indonesia quake aid begins to make an impact

By agency reporter
4 Oct 2009

Having launched an Indonesian and Philippines Emergency Appeal on Thursday 1 October, the development agency Christian Aid has already set aside £100,000 for partners with whom it works in Indonesia.

Emergency relief teams have reached the areas most affected by the Indonesian earthquake, Padang and the northern coastal city, Pariaman on the island of Sumatra.

They have taken in food, medicines, basic shelter materials, electricity generators, water purification equipment and other supplies, and more is on its way.

Access to the worst hit areas has been hampered by limited flights, roads hit by landslides and collapsed bridges.

YEU (Yakkum Emergency Unit) has sent in medical and logistics experts, eight of whom are now working in the Pariaman area. They are equipped with medicines and enough wound care equipment for 1,500 people, plus hygiene kits, baby kits, blankets, tarpaulins, two generators and enough fuel to support field medical services.

With hospitals badly damaged by the earthquake, setting up medical services for survivors and mobile clinics is a priority.

The organisation is also assessing the incidence of trauma among children, and establishing a water purification system.

A second organisation, YTB (Disaster Response Foundation), has previously provided disaster management training to two church organisations in the affected area – the Mentawai Protestant Church and the West Sumatra National Council of Churches.

Those they trained are now assessing the situation and distributing aid to survivors. They have told YTB staff that both water and food are very scarce. YTB’s deputy director Victor Rembeth says: "They really, really need food for the people – and medicines."

An emergency electricity generator, satellite communications equipment, US$10,000 worth of basic food such as rice and instant noodles, milk for children and pregnant women, and enough medicine for 500 people have also been sent to the area by YTB.

Meanwhile, Church World Service, from the USA, which is also focusing its attention on the Pariaman area, is preparing to provide temporary shelter, plastic mats, blankets and baby kits.

Donations to the Christian Aid appeal can be made by calling 08080 004004 or by going to www.christianaid.org.uk

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