Indonesia: One year after the earthquake on Java Malteser International - Help for more than 30,000 victims

Cologne/Yogyakarta. One year ago, on 27 May 2006, the earth trembled on the Indonesian islandof Java: Malteser International was one of the first relief organisations that arrived in the disaster area. To date, the organisation has provided emergency relief and rehabilitation aid for more than 30,000 people especially in the hardest hit district of Bantul. By the end of May, Malteser International will end its activities on Java and hand the projects over to local partners.

"Our concept to offer not only emergency relief but also development-oriented rehabilitation aid has worked perfectly well", Dr. Bernward Hammel, Project Coordinator of Malteser International on Java, says. In numerous crises intervention trainings, Hammel prepared the persons in charge for future emergencies: "It is important that the local staff know how to react best because earthquakes and other natural disasters occur regularly in this region."

Additionally, Malteser International staff accompanied many families to administrative authorities and instructed medical staff as well as patients and their relatives how to treat wounds in order to assure better medical care also in absence of the doctors. Together with local artists, the organisation produced songs and short stories dealing with health issues which are regularly broadcasted by local radio stations. Thus, they aim to improve the level of knowledge of the population about hygiene and prevention.

"Immediately after the catastrophe", Hammel continues, "we cared for about 1,600 injured in a field hospital. Mobile medical teams visited remote villages to treat the injured and to take the severely injured to the local hospitals." Two temporary village hospitals and six health centres of Malteser International took over the medical care for the injured until the health centres in the region of Bantul were in good working condition again. The organisation equipped the hospital of Bantul with modern medical instruments for diagnostic and treatment. "When the situation slowly normalised", so Hammel, "we started with the rehabilitation measures in order to help the people to improve their living conditions on a sustained basis."

Even after having finished the projects on Java, Malteser International will continue its work in Indonesia. In the region of Aceh which was heavily affected by the tsunami the organisation reconstructs villages and health institutions. Small loans enable the population to set up small businesses and, thereby, to earn their own income

The earthquake on 27 May 2006 registering 6.2 on the Richter scale took 6,600 lives and caused 140,000 injured of which 16,000 became irrecoverably disabled.

Attention editorial offices! Dr. Bernward Hammel, Project Coordinator of Malteser International, is available for interviews. Please contact +49 (0) 221 / 9822 - 155.

For its projects in Indonesia, Malteser International appeals for donations:

Donation Account 120 120 120
Bank fuer Sozialwirtschaft, Woerthstr.15-17, D-50668 Koeln
Sort Code 370 205 00, IBAN : DE49 3702 0500 0001 0258 01, BIC: BFSWDE33XXX
Reference: 'Malteser International'

For more Information please contact:

PetraIpp, Senior Desk Officer Communication, Malteser International
Phone: +49-221-9822-155, Fax +49-221/9822-179;;