ACT Appeal Indonesia - Ethnic Violence in Maluku: ASID-01

Originally published

Appeal Target: US$ 73,250
Geneva, 9 March 2000

Dear Colleagues,

As a result of the continuing ethnic violence in Maluku, tens of thousands of people have been displaced, large numbers of innocent people have been killed and several thousands injured. Damage to the economy and property is immense which will take years to recover.

The displaced people face malnutrition and the likelihood of epidemics such as dysentery, typhoid and malaria unless immediate and adequate assistance is provided.

ACT member, the General Synod of Churches in North and Central Sulawesi (Synod Am/SAG) together with its member churches in the region have been providing assistance through its own means and with support from bilateral partners.

Synod Am/SAG proposes to continue providing much needed assistance to victims of violence in the form of:

  • Relief Food Distribution & Nutritional Feeding
  • Health & Medical Inputs

Summary of Appeal Target, Pledges/Contributions Received and Balance Requested
US $
Total Appeal Target
Less: Pledges/Contributions Received
Balance Requested from ACT Network

The project will be implemented over a six-month period from March to 31 August 2000.

Please kindly send your contributions to the ACT bank account and inform this office of all pledges/contributions and transfers, including funds sent direct to the implementers. Please note the Pledge Form is no longer attached with the Appeal.

Account Number - 102539/0.01.061 (USD)
Account Name: ACT - Action by Churches Together
Banque Edouard Constant
Cours de Rive 11
Case postale 3754
1211 Genève 3

We would appreciate being informed of any intent to submit applications for EU, USAID and/or other back donor funding and the subsequent results. We thank you in advance for your kind cooperation.



Synod Am/SAG with The Evangelical Christian Church of Minahasa, North Sulawesi (GMIM)

The Synod Am/SAG is the General Synod of Churches in North and Central Sulawesi and its members include the Churches of Minahasa (GMIM), Sangir Talaud (GMIST), Minahasa (KGPM), Bolaang Mongondow (GMIBM), Gorontalo (GPIG), Buol Toli-Toli (GPIBT), Luwuk Banggai (GKIB), Donggala (GPID) and Sulawesi Tengah (GKIST).

The Synod Am/SAG, is registered as a non-profit organisation (Communion of Churches) and has been serving society for the last 48 years. It has successfully implemented several social projects including projects for the tribal people, water and sanitation projects and village development projects, in North and Central Sulawesi.


The Synod Am/SAG in co-operation with the Evangelical Christian Church of Minahasa (GMIM), formed the Crisis-Centre-Halmahera at the beginning of this year to address the continuing and increasing refugee crisis.

The Synod Am/SAG has two partners in Halmahera - the synod of the Evangelical Christian Church of Halmahera (GMIH) and the Christian Hospital Bethesda (CHB) in Tobelo. While GMIH will be responsible for food distribution, the health program will be the responsibility of CHB.


Background Information

The tensions between the Christians and Moslems were originally caused by certain government decisions, which threatened the land-rights of the original Halmahera people. This conflict was used by fundamentalist groups, supported by elements of the armed forces, who took advantage of the local tensions rooted in this land dispute, to incite violence. These groups have continued to manipulate the local people for their own political ends, in an attempt to destabilize the first democratically elected government of Indonesia. As a result, the dispute has become a violent religious war, which has taken a heavy toll of life and property as well as caused large-scale displacement. Virtually the entire christian population have fled from their homes in Tidore and Ternate which have now become the command centers of Moslem activists or 'holy war fighters' (pasukan Jihad).

Current Situation

As the riots spread all over Northern Halmahera, it claimed more than 3000 lives, totally destroyed 90 villages as well as 100 churches and a large number of mosques. There is no place in the entire island of Halmahera which is not affected and no families untouched by this violent conflict.

According to GMIH, the total number of refugees is estimated at 120,000 of whom 52,000 are in Kao, Tobelo and Galela in the Northern Part of Halmahera, 18,500 have fled to the jungle, 26,000 have found refuge in Central Halmahera (in places where fighting is still going on, or which are not far from the fighting) and 23,000 people have fled to Manado, North Sulawesi.

According to the newspaper 'Manado Post' ('Jawa Pos'), the number of Moslem refugees is roughly 40,000, most of whom have sought refuge in Ternate and Tidore.

At the moment in the entire area of North Halmahera there is only one doctor working at the Christian Hospital Bethesda of Tobelo. Every day, he and his staff treat approximately 80 patients in the hospital and another 100 patients in the local health centres throughout the region. Many of these patients have sustained injuries from the violence. The people of Halmahera are also facing threats of malnutrition and of epidemics, such as dysentery, typhoid and malaria. Due to the continuing violence, trading activities are limited, people are afraid to harvest and fish. Life has come to a virtual standstill. The whole community infrastructure and most of the communication system has also been destroyed. The economic loss is immense and it will be take years to recover and build it up again.

Locations for Proposed Response

Due to the extremely unstable and volatile security situation throughout Northern Halmahera, currently it is only possible to transport aid from Manado to Tobelo, on the regular boats. Hence all aid will be brought to the GMIH synod building and to the Hospital Bethesda in the centre of the sub-district of Tobelo and from there distributed according to the needs and accessibility of the region.


To provide life-saving assistance in the form of relief food, nutritional feeding for infants and health care to the most vulnerable refugees and victims of ethnic violence in northern Halmahera.


Around 78.000 people have taken refuge in the northern part of Halmahera, especially in Tobelo, Kao, Sahu, Ibu, Loloda and Galela and most are in need of some help. However, due to limitations of resource and capaclty, assistance will be given to the most vulnerable - children with very low nutritional status, pregnant and other needy women, the elderly and the sick and wounded.


Although the capacity of the local church and the local hospital is limited - there is only one fully equipped hospital with 50 beds and four cars for transporting the aid, the commitment of the people of Halmahera to bring aid to the suffering people - by foot if necessary, is very high.

Food and nutrition items planned for distribution include:

  • Rice 55 Mt
  • Sugar 4 Mt
  • Green Beans 500 Kg
  • Salt 200 Kg
  • Cooking Oil 2,000 Ltr
  • Instant Milk 1 Mt
  • Eggs 10,000 Nos

The Bethesda Hospital in Tobelo has prepared list of medicines and materials required for the emergency operation which include antibiotics as well as vitamins and less powerful drugs for common illnesses. Medicines for treatment of dysentery, typhoid and malaria, which constitute major threats to the refugees are included as well, besides bandages, infusion sets, surgical needles, cotton wool, etc. for treatment of wounds.

The food (except rice which will be bought locally) and medicines will be procured in Manado and shipped to Tobelo, an arrangement which will be controlled and coordinated by the Crisis-Center Halmahera (CCH) in Manado together with the local implementation team in Halmahera/Tobelo.


The 3 member team which will oversee the program in Halmahera will comprise Mrs. Christine Simange, a lay person of the Synod of the Evangelical Christian Church of Halmahera (GMIH); Mrs. Ross Ray-Ray, a nutrition officer of the Christian Hospital Bethesda in Tobelo and Dr. David Paparang, also of the Christian Hospital Bethesda in Tobelo.

This team will be responsible to the Crisis Centre Halmahera (CCH) at Synod Am/SAG in Manado and will provide feedback on the general situation and on the special needs of the people.

At the CCH, Rev. Jan Sumakul will act as Coordinator and will be responsible to the Synod Am/SAG, its partners/donors as well as to the ACT Office. Rev. Sumakul will have the services of two advisors, Rev. Thomas A. Heisel and Dr. Retno A. Heisel. Rev. Thomas has served four years as a lecturer at the local Theological High school in Halmahera before the recent violence while Dr. Retno has worked for four years as a dentist at a local health centre in mainly Islamic Galela and in the church owned Hospital of Tobelo, before fleeing to Manado.

The CCH will be in daily contact with the local implementation team in Halmahera and there will be monthly reports to ensure that the relief fund is being used as planned for the benefit of the refugees. Adjustments to the project may have to be made based on feedback of the local implementation team as visits to personally supervise the implementation are not planned by the Manado team because of the security situation. An external audit of CCH’s relief efforts will be carried out after completion of the program.


The proposed activities have already begun, with initial aid of food and medicines already received in Halmahera and distributed to the suffering refugees. All further assistance will also be put to use immediately. The money requested for medicine and medical materials is estimated to cover needs for six months, provided the violence does not continue for long or grow worse. How long the money requested for food and nutritional feeding lasts depends on the number of refugees and the severity of their needs as well as the rapidity with which the economic system in Halmahera recovers.


The Synod Am/SAG, a joint effort of all the Protestant Churches of North and Central Sulawesi, created the Crisis-Centre-Halmahera in conjunction with the Association of Churches and Missions in South West Germany (EMS), the Uniting Church of Australia, the Global Ministries of the Uniting Church in the Netherlands (SOW) and Eukomindo (an association of Churches and Missions working together with Indonesian Churches, such as BM, SOAM, EMS, UM (former VEM), Church of Ireland, and others).

As the goal is to help the suffering people in Halmahera, in cooperation with the sister church of Halmahera - the Evangelical Christian Church of Halmahera (GMIH), there is already considerable sharing, solidarity and coordination among all concerned. Where appropriate and feasible, efforts will be coordinated with other bodies involved in emergency and relief operations.

Yayasan Tangul Bencana, the service arm of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia has been involved in preparation of this proposal and strongly endorses the request.


Planned or Anticipated Project Income:

Pledges/Contributions Recd.
US $
Uniting Church in the Netherlands 26,000 - DFL
EMS 20,000 - DM
Balance Requested from ACT Network
US $
I. Direct Assistance
Relief Food Distribution & Nutritional Feeding
Health & Medical Inputs
II. Material Transport/Handling
III. Capital Equipment
Laptop Computer (one)
Generator (Electricity)
IV. Other Support Costs
Volunteer Stipends/Honorarium
Local & Regional Staff Travel (travel, lodging, food)
Communication (Telephone, Fax, e-mail)
Vehicle Operations (Rental, Fuel, Maintenance)
Add 1% for ACT EMT Appeal 2000

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The ACT Coordinating Office is based with the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Switzerland.