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Indonesia Appeal No. 01.33/2002 Annual Report

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The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in 178 countries. For more information: www.ifrc.org
Appeal No. 01.33/2002;
Appeal target: CHF 2,059,101;
Appeal coverage: 76%

Overall analysis of the programme

An archipelago of 18,000 islands covering some 5,000 km, Indonesia is a nation plagued by poverty and ethnic, religious and political unrest. Its population of approximately 230 million people, the fourth largest in the world, is 87 per cent Muslim, predominately rural, and made up of numerous ethnic groups.

Three years on from the democratic elections of 1999, Indonesia's economic outlook remains uncertain. The current growth rate of three per cent holds no prospect of reducing unemployment, which at a reported 40 million, is dramatically high. Meanwhile, average basic wages remain low and the country's under-utilised industrial capacity continues to decline with shrinking demand from global business. Since the start of the economic crisis in 1997, poverty has been on the increase. According to statistics, by the end of 1998 about 49.5 million people, more than 24 per cent of the Indonesian population, were living below the poverty line, with many more on the margin. Poverty related vulnerability therefore continues to be high throughout the country. Malnutrition and exposure to diseases is widespread, and large numbers of people have no access to basic health care and education.

Indonesia is also one of the world's most disaster prone countries, located at the friction points of three continental tectonic plates, the starting point of earthquakes and tsunamis. Added to this, the country lies along the so-called 'belt of fire' - a zone comprising 128 active volcanoes. This ill-fated combination of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, droughts, forest fires, and floods combined with large scale ecological exploitation has taken a significant human and economic toll on the country and its people.

During 2002, natural disasters ranging from floods and earthquakes to drought and volcanic eruptions placed the Indonesian Red Cross - Palang Merah Indonesia (PMI) - in a challenging situation. Seasonal rains in the country's largest island of Java in February led to severe flooding, claiming 150 lives and displacing a further 150,000 people.

The past year has also seen several areas of Indonesia in a state of prolonged conflict - from secession in Aceh, Irian Jaya, to ethnic and/or religious strife in Maluku, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan and Sulawesi. As a result, population movements placed tremendous pressure on PMI to deal with the needs of more than 1.3 million internally displaced persons in 14 different provinces, including more than 53,000 East Timorese in West Timor.

In August/September, as new immigration laws took effect in Malaysia, more than 100,000 migrant workers returned to Indonesia. Tens of thousands of these returnees, stranded in border-towns scattered across Kalimantan and Sumatra, were assisted by PMI. The high level of unrest stemming from secessionist, ethnic and religious differences, found the Federation working in close coordination with the ICRC as it responded to the same events.

In October, a bomb attack in Bali claimed more than 200 victims, most of them foreign tourists. The incident reinforced the urgent need for Satgana (basic disaster management) teams in all disaster prone areas of the country. Specific focus on strengthening management capacity at all levels has been intensified, as has the formulation of strategies for chapter and branch development in disaster prone areas. By the end of 2002 more than 60 Satgana teams had been organised and trained throughout the country.

This reporting period has seen continued development in the Federation's position in Indonesia. The facilitator role of the delegation became increasingly important as three new partners - the Australian, Danish and Netherlands Red Cross Societies - started bilateral projects with PMI. In November 2002, the Federation signed a status agreement with the Indonesian government, a major achievement after three years of negotiation. The Federation's role as coordinator/facilitator for all national societies operating in Indonesia was highlighted in the agreement.

The main goal of the Federation in Indonesia has been to build the capacity of PMI in four core areas: humanitarian values, disaster preparedness, disaster response, and health and care in the community. The objectives for 2002 have been revised to better reflect the capacity of the national society. With the Federation delegation in Indonesia fully staffed for the first time, delegates have been working closely with their respective PMI counterparts. The stability at staff level has had a significant impact on the Federation's ability to provide sufficient technical support to PMI. Using the national society's 1999-2004 strategic plan, the Federation has provided support to key programmes, thus enabling PMI to provide better quality services to the people of Indonesia.

As a whole, funding for Federation programmes in 2002 was realistic. Both the organisational development and health and care programmes, however, suffered setbacks -- the former received little interest from donors and the latter lost of its biggest contribution towards the end of the year.

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