Donors urged to increase support to Indonesian earthquake emergency relief

Published: 15 June 2006

Joint international agency statement

Emergency relief plans for the Indonesian earthquake are hamstrung because of lack of funds from donors and the international community, six non-government organizations working on relief efforts said today.

Six NGOs – Oxfam International, Islamic Relief, World Vision, CARE Indonesia, CARDI/IRC and Plan International – said they did not have the funds to carry out urgently needed relief work for those affected by the earthquake and appealed to the international community for help.

David MacDonald, Oxfam Indonesia’s Country Program Manager, said: “The scale of this disaster is much greater than first thought. Donors responded swiftly in the initial stages but now we need them to re-evaluate their commitments to reflect ongoing urgent needs for the basics such as shelter, water and sanitation.“

The Indonesian Government estimates the number of homes destroyed is 156,964 with another 183,741 heavily damaged. Using an average of five people per home that means up to 1.5 million people could be homeless – more than triple the number left homeless after the Asian Tsunami hit the Indonesian province of Aceh.

Seifeldin A. Nimir, Country Director, Islamic Relief, said: “Humanitarian aid agencies on the ground are very much committed to helping the survivors of the earthquake, without similar commitment from the donors we can’t provide necessary and adequate needs of this community. This is a tragedy that needs everyone’s attention and action.”

The UN launched an appeal for $103 million USD for a six-month emergency relief and recovery plan on the 1st of June but so far just over $21 million (USD) has been pledged.

The earthquake which struck the central Indonesian island of Java almost three weeks ago killed 5,736 people and injured 78,206, according to latest Indonesian Government figures.

Johan Kieft, CARE Indonesia’s Emergency Response Team leader, said: “The number of homeless people and extent of the damage is higher than after the 2004 Tsunami in Indonesia. Sanitation systems were destroyed in the earthquake and people are sleeping outside in unclean conditions, which means disease is already spreading frighteningly fast in some villages. We’re doing everything we can but if relief operations don’t get support needed to help all the survivors soon, things will get worse.”

Alan Manski, Senior Emergency Response Team Coordinator CARDI/ International Rescue Committee, said: “There’s a strong tradition of communities helping each other here and if we can provide them with resources, training and tools we can make huge strides in the recovery process. The scale of the disaster is being measured by the number of people killed and not by the massive number left homeless.”

World Vision’s Indonesia Director James Tumbuan, said: “Donors have been providing significant funding for emergency response so far but people urgently need further support to rehabilitate their lives. Unfortunately, almost no donors have committed themselves to provide such funding support.”

The six non-governmental agencies are working together with partners, national and international NGOs, the UN, the Indonesian Government and local communities to provide emergency relief including the provision of shelter, water, sanitation and healthcare.

Contact Information

Oxfam International, Harriet Binet, Indonesia +62 (0) 812 698 8064. Oxfam (UK), Doug Keatinge, +44 (0) 7785257872

CARE Indonesia, Melanie Brooks, +62 (0)812 699 1793

Islamic Relief, Indonesia, Seifeldin A. Nimir (+62) (0) 812 106 8513

CARDI/IRC Alan Manski, Indonesia, +1 917 306 1969 or +62 812 8001 893

World Vision, Hendro Suwito, Indonesia, +62 (0) 81199 7762