Red Cross announces major expansion of response efforts

Jakarta/Kuala Lumpur/Geneva, 08 November 2018 - The Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has announced a significant expansion of Red Cross response and recovery efforts in the wake of two major disasters.

IFRC Secretary General, Elhadj As Sy, was speaking at the end of a trip to Indonesia where he visited areas of Sulawesi, which were decimated by an earthquake, tsunami and liquefaction on 28 September, as well as Lombok, an island where multiple communities were levelled by a series of killer earthquakes in July and August.

Close to 638,000 people have been affected by the multiple disasters on these two islands. This includes nearly 500,000 living in temporary shelters in Lombok alone. In both settings, humanitarian efforts have been led by Indonesian responders, chief among them the Indonesian Red Cross.

Mr Sy said: "It is clear that these disasters will take months and perhaps years to recover from. I saw despair and anguish among the survivors. But I also saw hope and resilience for a better future.

"The humanitarian response so far has been strong and a testament to the professionalism of the Indonesian Red Cross, which has been the lead actor in many aspects. However, the job is not done. We believe there are major and unmet needs and we are committed to scaling up our response to meet them.

"We hope the international community will stay the course and continue to support survivors of these tragedies, and the organizations that are doing all they can to assist them."

The IFRC and the Indonesian Red Cross are increasing their international appeal for 22 million Swiss francs to more than 38 million Swiss francs. These funds will allow the Red Cross to provide substantial and ongoing support to about 160,000 people in Lombok and Sulawesi.

So far, Indonesian Red Cross teams, often drawing on support from the global Red Cross and Red Crescent network, have reached more than 110,000 people impacted by these disasters. This includes the construction of approximately 5,900 temporary and transitional shelters, the distribution of 2,000 shelter tool kits, and the disbursement of cash grants to 2,000 of the worst-affected families.

For more information contact:
In Lombok / Sulawesi: Kathy Mueller, +62 821 1075 4506, kathy.mueller@redcross.cakathy.mueller@redcross.ca In Kuala Lumpur: Rosemarie North, +60 12 230 8451, rosemarie.north@ifrc.orgrosemarie.north@ifrc.org In Geneva: Matthew Cochrane, +41 79 251 80 39, matthew.cochrane@ifrc.orgmatthew.cochrane@ifrc.org