MERCY Malaysia today handed over the last two of its projects in Aceh, Indonesia. This marks the final completion of 16 projects MERCY Malaysia undertook following the Indian Ocean Tsunami of December 2004 that caused widespread devastation resulting in the loss of more than 167,000 lives while 570,000 people were made homeless in Indonesia alone.
MERCY Malaysia was the first international organisation to deploy medical relief in Banda Aceh on the 26th of December 2004. MERCY Malaysia's medical and humanitarian relief efforts included the provision of emergency medical relief, primary healthcare, psychosocial intervention, as well as the reconstruction and rehabilitation of medical facilities, homes and orphanages. As part of our capacity building, disaster prevention, preparedness and mitigation, we also engaged in community education programmes.
"Our work in Aceh for nearly two and a half years has been highly challenging and gratifying at the same," said Datuk Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, President of MERCY Malaysia. "We have fulfilled our commitment to complete 16 projects with the invaluable assistance of our local partners and unwavering support from the Malaysian government and our benevolent donors - without which none of this would have been possible.
"And now, it is time for us to place these projects in the capable hands of our partners here in Aceh. We are confident they will continue to work to enhance the quality of life amongst all our beneficiaries," added Dr. Jemilah.
The first of the final phase of projects handed over by MERCY Malaysia was the UNSYIAH Nursing Academy block in Darussalam, Banda Aceh, that was fully sponsored by Petroliam Nasional Berhad. During the disaster, 211 students and staff members of UNSYIAH were killed while 500 nurses in the Aceh Province lost their lives. Recognising the urgent need to fulfil the shortage of nurses in the province, with this building MERCY Malaysia has now enabled the enrolment of 625 students in a four-year course through its rehabilitation and capacity building programme at the UNSYIAH Nursing Academy.
As its final project, MERCY Malaysia handed over the keys of the Kayee Kunyit Children's Centre to the people of Montasik, Aceh Besar. The centre houses 123 orphans and 86 students and the project was funded by Yayasan Shamsuddin Abdul Kadir under the Sapura Group. Tan Sri Shamsuddin Abdul Kadir, Founder and Chairman of Sapura Holdings Sdn. Bhd., was on hand to officiate the handover ceremony.
"The people of Aceh have come a long way since that fateful day in December 2004 and we are glad that we were able to be part of this recovery process," said Dr. Jemilah. "We also hope that through all these projects, we have helped rebuild a more resilient Aceh and have strengthened the bonds of friendship and solidarity amongst our people," said Dr. Jemilah.
MERCY Malaysia's Tsunami relief efforts in Aceh and Nias encompassed rapid emergency response right through to recovery, capacity building as well as the reconstruction and rehabilitation phase, costing a total of RM23 million. MERCY Malaysia has also built two health centres and the medical block of a hospital in Nias Island, Indonesia.
MERCY Malaysia is a medical organization that provides medical and humanitarian aid in crisis and non-crisis situations. We serve vulnerable communities living in remote areas in Malaysia by providing primary and specialised healthcare that includes dental, eye and reproductive healthcare. MERCY Malaysia is also active internationally and has sent relief missions to Kosovo, Cambodia, Indonesia (Maluku Island, Nias, Aceh and Jogjakarta), Afghanistan, Turkey, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Iran, Sudan, North Korea, Pakistan, the Maldives, Lebanon and the Philippines. Our services include Emergency Medical Relief, Psychosocial Intervention, Humanitarian Relief and Recovery, Disaster Preparedness, Prevention and Mitigation, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation, and Capacity Building. Our focus for the future is to ensure that vulnerable communities are better prepared through risk education reduction and disaster preparedness. Please log onto www.mercy.org.my for more information.
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