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Friday, 31 December, 2004

Aid gets to Aceh. Coordination is the critical need.

Excerpts from an article in Jakarta Post
And it's not as if help is not forthcoming.

Relief supplies sent from national and foreign organizations and governments are reaching the Banda Aceh airport. In fact, supplies are literally piling up there by the ton. But they are not being distributed quickly to the intended targets.

Take the issue of burying tens of thousands of dead as an example.

There aren't enough workers left in these areas to bury the dead. Many Acehnese are either too stricken by grief to do anything because they have lost loved ones, or simply too weak as they have been without food, clean water and medicines.

Bringing in volunteers from outside requires good coordination. They have to bring their own tents to sleep in, and their own food. They cannot eat rations intended for victims or use the limited number of tents available in the area.

And they need heavy equipment, like cranes, to bury the dead en mass.

Then, there is the question of the lack of trucks to take relief supplies from the airport to the people. And even if there were enough trucks available, there is not enough fuel to run them. And then there is the question of clearing roads of debris before they become passable.

Whose job is it then to coordinate the relief operation?

The Aceh provincial administration and its structure were decimated. It is estimated that only half of the administration's employees in Banda Aceh survived the tragedy. And most government offices in Banda Aceh were destroyed.

Without a government structure in place, coordination becomes almost non-existent.

Another sign of poor coordination was the question of permits for foreign relief agencies to operate in Aceh. By invoking national disaster status, the government effectively opens the way for these groups to send aid directly to Aceh. Jusuf Kalla reaffirmed this, but yet another lower ranking official insisted that they must all obtain permits from the government, which can take two weeks or more to issue.

Source: Jakarta Post

3 Comments Post a Comment
Anonymous Anonymous said :


something to think about, from 1775 to 2004.

Fri Dec 31, 11:19:00 AM IST  
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Fri Dec 31, 11:22:00 AM IST  
Blogger Sukumar said :

Jaycees of Mayiladuthurai (Mayavaram) in Tanjore Dt is involved in Tsunami Relief Work at Poompuhar, Chidambaram and other nearby coastal areas. Refugee Camps are being run in Mayiladuthurai for the displaced victims. There is an urgent need to provide medicines at various camps. Jaycees volunteers will assist in distribution. We welcome assistance from NGOs and Pharama companies. Contact : Mr A S Ravindiran (Mob : 09345061022) or Mr V Raman (Mob : 09443134855). Jaycees can also assist corporates and NGOs to carry out Relief Work in the nearby areas to ensure benefits reach the victims.

Fri Dec 31, 02:52:00 PM IST