Scores of thousands of Indonesian quake victims receive UN aid

27 October 2009

United Nations agencies continue to aid scores of thousands of Indonesians after last month’s 7.9-magnitude earthquake ravaged parts of western Sumatra island, leaving nearly 200,000 households in need of emergency shelter and other assistance.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP), targeting children under five as well as pregnant or lactating mothers and primary school children, has aided more than 68,000 people, distributing distributed 25 metric tons of biscuits between 21 and 25 October, for a total of 178 metric tons of biscuits and noodles since the disaster struck.

The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) is currently assisting some 30,000 women and girls of reproductive age in the worst affected areas, including over 1,650 pregnant women.

Early food and nutrition assessments reveal approximately 38,000 households, or 190,000 people, in the most affected areas are experiencing temporary shortages of staple foods such as rice, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported.

The Government estimates that rehabilitation and reconstruction will cost $745 million after the quake and aftershocks on 30 September triggered landslides, wiping out entire villages, killing an estimated 1,117 people, injuring 1,214 others and affecting is 1.2 million.

Funding for emergency water trucking is urgently needed for the next two months. Only 20 percent Padang City's population is connected to the water network, and an estimated 650,000 people rely on trucking or bottled water for daily supplies.

The West Sumatra Humanitarian Response Plan, launched on 9 October in partnership with the Government, is seeking $38.1 million for emergency needs to be addressed within 90 days. The UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has already allocated nearly $7. Additional donor contributions for several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been reported, raising the funding total to nearly $12 million.


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