World Vision channels $14M for poor in Indonesia

Situation Report
Originally published
JAKARTA (October 8, 1998) - Visiting President of World Vision International Dean Hirsch said here today that the global humanitarian organization is deeply committed to help ease the suffering of the poor in Indonesia during this time of crisis.
The organization is channeling more than US$14 millions of aid from overseas donors to support the poor in Indonesia, Mr Hirsch said to journalists after paying a call on Minister for Social Affairs Justika Baharsjah. In the meeting, Mr Hirsch was accompanied by Watt Santatiwat, World Vision Vice President for Asia-Pacific Region, and John Rose, Vice President for International Communications and James Tumbuan, Director, World Vision International-Indonesia.

"This included some US$6.4 million fund for relief and safety net projects and $8.0 million for long-term community development projects throughout Indonesia," said Mr Hirsch.

He said that World Vision has actively involved in safety net activities to help poor people hard-hit by the current crisis. These projects support the lives of more than 150,000 people who are facing difficulties to feed their families.

World Vision, established in 1950, now operates in 100 countries. It strives to improve the lives of children and poor communities in Asia, Africa, Latin America and East Europe.

This year, World Vision is distributing food and cash through safety net projects in Sumba island, Rote island, Alor district -- all in East Nusa Tenggara province, Banggai district in Central Sulawesi and in Jakarta. These US$5.1 million projects -- funded by Australia, Canada, U.S., World Food Programme and Unicef -- would help more than 100,000 people facing failed harvests and weaning buying power.

"We have just completed a nine-month relief assistance for more than 50,000 people in Jayawijaya highlands in Irian Jaya who suffered from food crisis," Mr Hirsch noted. The relief and rehabilitation aid for Jayawijaya relief reached around US$1.3 millions.

Mr Hirsch noted that World Vision, which has assisted the poor in Indonesia since early 1960s, would seek ways to further expand its safety net projects in Indonesia. "We have approached potential donors to support major safety net projects in Jakarta and in rural areas. We hope we will be able to secure the approvals soon."

World Vision has taken part in channeling emergency and rehabilitation assistance to victims of natural disasters, such as earthquake, tsunami and volcano eruption. Earlier, the organization supported disaster victims in Biak, Banyuwangi, Flores, Liwa and Merapi.

James Tumbuan said that for many years World Vision concentrated its service in long-term community development projects. "Currently, we support around 200 community development projects across Indonesia. These projects facilitate better education, health, vocational training, community organization, social solidarity and also try to generate more income to the community members through self-help groups and credit unions."

During this time of crisis, Mr Tumbuan said, World Vision has adopted additional programs to help the beneficiaries, such as distributing food and seeds, assisting the people in opening new agricultural fields, constructing small dams and other village infrastructure.

Mr Santatiwat, meanwhile, said World Vision has given greater commitment to help several Asian countries suffering from natural disasters and economic crisis. "Besides Indonesia, we are also giving high priority to channel aid to North Korea, China and Bangladesh."

World Vision would try to further expand its support to Indonesia to help the government during these difficult times, Mr Santatiwat added.

For more information, please contact: James Tumbuan or Hendro Suwito World Vision International - Indonesia Jl Wahid Hasyim 33, Jakarta 10340 Tel: 327 467; Fax: 3107846