UN scales back its appeal for Indonesian quake relief, but still faces huge shortfall

7 July 2006
Quake-damaged canal structure

The United Nations has scaled back its $103-million relief appeal for the Indonesian earthquake in May by 20 per cent but is still facing a huge shortfall of over $60 million to aid hundreds of thousands of victims of the disaster which killed more than 6,000 people and displaced at least 200,000 others.

Based on latest assessment and planning in the quake zone round Yogyakarta, the country’s second most popular tourist destination after Bali, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) put total needs for the Earthquake Response Plan (ERP) at $80,111,735, of which only $19,869,041 have so far been received or committed.

More than 1.7 million beneficiaries have received more than 6,000 tonnes of various food commodities from the Government of Indonesia, non-government organizations (NGOs) and the UN. A further 115,000 beneficiaries have received 877 tonnes of fortified biscuits and noodles.

The revised ERP highlights critical emergency needs that have not yet been met due to lack of funding, and aims to begin early recovery efforts while helping the Government formulate strategies that will move the quake response beyond the emergency phase.

To date, 141,796 tarpaulins or tents have been distributed and a further 100,000 tarpaulins are still urgently required, but this emergency shelter support will not address medium-term housing needs during the time it will take to reconstruct homes, since tents and tarpaulins-based structures have a lifespan of at best six months.

Some form of a more durable transitional shelter/housing is still needed to bridge the gap between emergency shelter and permanent housing, OCHA said.

Over 300,000 litres of water has been trucked to communities with disrupted water supply, benefiting 20,000 people a day, more than 300 wells have been cleaned and over 807 emergency toilets have been constructed by the Government of Indonesia and aid organizations, but current assistance is only fulfilling a fraction of overall needs.

A very large number of severely injured people require institutional and community-based rehabilitation in order to prevent permanent disability. There is limited capacity to provide this, given that nearly 45,000 injured people required hospitalization.

Other unmet emergency needs include the education, protection, livelihood and agriculture sectors. The ERP will implement its activities till the end of the year and does not aim to cover all affected parties. Significant aid is expected from the Government and its development partners, particularly in terms of housing, schools and health infrastructure.


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