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Tuesday, 11 January, 2005

Indonesia Asks for Names of Aid Workers

Indonesia - Indonesia's military asked aid groups in tsunami-stricken areas Monday to draw up a list of international relief workers — and to report on their movements — as fears arose for the safety of foreigners helping survivors in a region wracked by rebellion long before the waves hit.

The request underlined the unease with which Indonesia has faced the growth of the biggest aid operation in history, replete with foreign soldiers and civilian humanitarian workers.

Source: AP via Yahoo News
1 Comments Post a Comment
Blogger LH said :

The the Indonesian govt is taking the correct steps.

I have been involved in logistical operations and in surveying the quality of various commercial shipments, and was greatly concerned by recent news reports of whole shipments of clothing sent to Indonesia as aid was found to contain household rubbish including torn-off women’s bras, and several large metallic engraved awards among other things! I think it is appropriate to be aware of hidden dangers some ‘aid’ material could pose.

I welcome and appreciate all the sincere efforts made by the world community, renowned international organizations and the compassionate general public of many countries. Yes, it is an emergency situation, you have to rush aid to the suffering and to prevent further calamities like outbreaks of diseases etc. But still, no one should be allowed to dump unchecked god-knows-what in Sri Lanka and other tsunami hit areas -intentionally or unintentionally they may deliver damages as well. It seems that while some organizations could be dumping secondhand clothing, other countries and organizations are even trying to use these opportunities to get credit for ‘providing aid’, and to improve their image in the international community while dumping the stuff which could have been rotting in their backyards for years.

Are there any govt organizations controlling this aspect of the massive influx of aid materials in the affected countries:

I could identify some major threats:
- Clothing, toys and household items sent sometimes seems to be secondhand clothes and one has to be careful as any person with various easily transmittable decease as a skin deceases could have given them away. Usually, all European companies engaged in the SecondHand clothing trade are required to have a certificate of disinfect ion for each consignment. This usually gives details of how exactly the items had been disinfected. In Sri Lanka and Indonesia where the garments industry is thriving there shouldn’t be a problem for clothing the affected people as even aid money could be used to purchase them cleaner clothes. It would be a great shame and insult if children and adults in these countries are allowed to live in soiled used clothes and suffer from unknown long-term illnesses.
- Medicines and doctors –in some countries such as former soviet countries they have very poor quality drugs and medical care, which even their own citizen refuse to use. Also counterfeit drugs, products had been improperly stored, contaminate by infections and radiation and containing dangerous elements are wide spread.
- Medical equipment and supplies – could be defective, partly used, or some products could also be contaminated by various infections, radiation and contain dangerous elements.
- Food items, there are possibilities some products had been improperly stored, contaminate by radiation and contains dangerous elements.
- Building materials – could also be contaminated by radiation and can contain dangerous elements, asbestos dust and mercury etc.

It must be made compulsory to get a preliminary approval from a quality controlling organization in Sri Lanka (after a simple detailed checking of packing lists etc) before any consignment is shipped or air lifted to SL–they should ask for more specifications and clarifications if needed.

After arrival of shipments, each consignment should be inspect for radiation contamination –(Radiation level measuring equipment are small, and very easy to use, so it shouldn’t hamper the movement of aid materials to needed areas)
They should take samples from each consignment for later thorough tasting in a laboratory.

The other danger posed is to the security of these countries: The latest news I heard ( today 10th Jan) was of negotiations to charter several Russian Antonov cargo aircraft reportedly to deliver 1000’s of coffins to bury the victims…the other carriers are supposed to have refused to take this cargo…. Who would need so many coffins today (10th January) when the masses of the dead are already buried? Or, is it a pretext for some other type of delivery?

Tue Jan 11, 02:19:00 pm IST