Indonesia: International aid picks up as death toll climbs

(New York: 31 May 2006): Five days after the destructive earthquake, which struck Yogyakarta on the island of Java in Indonesia, the United Nations agencies and their non-governmental partners continue to work in support of the Government to provide assistance to the tens of thousands of survivors who need assistance.
Measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale, the earthquake caused the heaviest damage in Klaten and Bantul and is responsible for more than 5000 deaths - possibly as many as 5800 - according to Government sources. Additionally, more than 105,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed, 269 schools destroyed, 49 kilometres of roads and bridges damaged, and 302 Government buildings and 284 religious buildings damaged.

More than 22,000 patients have been treated in 29 local hospitals, field hospitals, health centres and mobile clinics. However, local health facilities continue to be overwhelmed, especially as the population has no homes to which to return. The Ministry of Health has dispatched ten mobile clinics, medical personnel and three trucks of medicine. Three of the field hospitals have been established using equipment from the World Health Organization (WHO) - two in Bantul and one in Yogyakarta. The WHO is also providing New Emergency Health Kits, surgical kits, dressing and other medical material and will cover the operational costs for the Ministry of Health's mobile clinics. Meanwhile, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) plans to dispatch supplies to meet the emergency needs of pregnant women and other reproductive health services.

The United Nation's Children's Fund (UNICEF) has established a WATSAN (water and sanitation) Office at the local State-Owned Water Company (PDAM) and is providing 22 trucks to supply 320,000 litres of clean water per day. That capacity will be increased to 45 trucks supplying 720,000 litres in coming days. 12,000 hygiene kits for 60,000 people have also been released and construction of emergency bathing and latrine facilities has started in 100 locations. The UNICEF also intends to undertake a measles and vitamin A vaccination campaign.

In terms of shelter, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has distributed 310 tents in Klaten and 800 in Bantul. In total, 10,000 tarpaulins and 2000 stands could be made available by the IFRC. Meanwhile, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have provided 2000 heating stoves and 2000 plastic mats to a non-governmental partner in Bantul District. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has transported 74 tonnes of relief supplies to the affected areas.

The World Food Programme (WFP) has distributed 30 metric tonnes of fortified biscuits - 12 tonnes in Klaten and 18 tonnes in Bantul. A further 39 tonnes of biscuits and 75 tonnes of fortified noodles are also on had in Bantul. Additionally, the WFP has dispatched ten mobile warehouses to Yogyakarta from Medan.

The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) is planning an agricultural assessment mission in conjunction with Indonesia's Ministry of Agriculture, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is organizing an assessment of cultural sites. Additional assessment missions are being planned by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

For further information, please call: Stephanie Bunker, OCHA-New York, +1 917 367 5126, mobile +1 917 892 1679; Kristen Knutson, OCHA-New York, +1 917 367 9262; Elisabeth Byrs, OCHA-Geneva, +41 22 917 2653, mobile, +41 79 473 4570. OCHA press releases are available at or


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