At a glance: Indonesia

UNICEF emergency supplies reaching thousands affected by Indonesia quake

© UNICEF Indonesia/2006/Estey
At Solo airport in Central Java, Indonesia, workers load UNICEF supplies onto trucks bound for earthquake survivors in nearby Yogyakarta.

By Sabine Dolan

NEW YORK, USA 30 May 2006 – UNICEF emergency supplies are flowing into Central Java, Indonesia, to assist thousands of victims of Saturday’s earthquake.

Since Monday, emergency cargo flights have been delivering vital relief supplies to the Solo airport, a 90-minute drive from the devastated city of Yogyakarta, which suffered the brunt of the powerful earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale.

The airlift has delivered water containers, family and school tents, recreation kits for children, hundreds of plastic shelter tarps and kerosene stoves, as well as domestic cooking kits. Meanwhile, 20,000 much-needed hygiene kits with basic washing necessities are also being provided in the initial relief effort.

© UNICEF Indonesia/2006/Estey
Volunteers at the Bantul district hospital in Yogyakarta hand out UNICEF hygiene kits, each containing basic washing necessities such as soap, toothpaste and toothbrush, a towel and a basin.

Help for separated children

As many as 30,000 people were injured and more than 130,000 have been displaced as a result of the severe quake damage to buildings and homes across the region. To date, nearly 5,500 people have died.

At the district hospital in Bantul, the hardest-hit area of Yogyakarta, the scene has been one of despair with new victims being continually rushed in on stretchers. About half of those being treated are children, who are especially at risk in the disaster’s immediate aftermath.

“They cannot look after themselves, so if they are separated from their parents or their family, they are tremendously vulnerable,” explained UNICEF Indonesia Communication Officer John Budd. “This is an area that UNICEF will be deeply concerned about, to ensure that these children are identified properly and are traced back to the families that look after them.”

© UNICEF Indonesia/2006/Estey
A mother washes her year-old child with soap and water from a bucket while her injured daughter lies on the ground recovering from injuries at the overcrowded Bantul district hospital.

Working around the clock

In the next six months, UNICEF will focus a significant portion of its relief and recovery effort in Central Java on:

  • Psycho-social support to affected children, some of whom have been severely traumatized by the earthquake
  • Community development through the establishment of child centres as safe areas where children can both receive psycho-social support and engage in recreational activities
  • Prevention of abuse and exploitation, including trafficking and child labour.

Many of the very communities stricken by the recent earthquake have been rocked by a series of problems – from the 2004 tsunami to a bird flu outbreak and the renewed threat of volcanic eruption from nearby Mount Merapi. Now, UNICEF and its partners are working around the clock to deliver essential aid to children and families who are once again in desperate need.




30 May 2006:
UNICEF correspondent Sabine Dolan reports on the much-needed emergency supplies now flowing into Central Java.
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27 May 2006: UNICEF Indonesia Communication Officer John Budd describes immediate efforts to help quake-affected families in central Java. Reported by correspondent Sabine Dolan.
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