BRINGING AID TO THE DISPLACED
Economic crisis has contributed to the outbreak of ethnic and religious conflict throughout the country.
Following the religious clashes in Ambon in the Molucca Islands in January 1999, MSF teams brought relief to 20,000 displaced living in 24 regroupment camps in Ambon city. MSF worked principally on emergency sanitation. From March 1999 onwards, MSF also implemented environmental health care assistance for the Muslim population who had fled Ambon Island to take refuge in their ancestral home in Butan, southeast Sulawesi.
In early March 1999, ethnic conflict broke out in Sambas, Kalimantan. As many as 35,000 ethnic Madurese fled to 12 regroupment sites in Pontianak, West Kalimantan where MSF set up an assistance programme. Since March, half the displaced have moved back to Madura, their ancestral home.
In May, MSF also set up an assistance programme for 20,000 displaced in Tual in the Kai Islands following another religious clash. MSF helped the authorities launch emergency measles vaccination.
MSF's project in Kupang, West Timor, aims to reduce sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and the transmission of the HIV virus. Today, MSF works in schools, dispensaries and prisons raising awareness on the prevention of AIDS and STDs. MSF also runs a radio discussion programme. In May 1999, MSF opened a mission in East Timor where there is a population of between 50 to 100,000 displaced people. In the clinics in Baucau and Liquisa, MSF runs a primary health care programme with mobile medical teams in operation. In Dili, MSF is setting up a hospital referral service.
During the summer of 1998, MSF provided emergency malaria treatment to 20,000 people in the Jayawijaya district of Irian Jaya(the other part of the island of Papua New Guinea. Here, MSF runs a community health training programme.
In 1998, some 800,000 people benefited directly and indirectly from MSF's water supply projects in Lampung and Yogyakarta. MSF also continues its water supply project in Western Java.