Jakarta, 8 February 2019
EU scales up support for victims of tsunami in Indonesia
The European Union (EU) is allocating a further €300,000 (approximately IDR 4.8 billion) in humanitarian funding to Indonesia to ensure the continued delivery of much needed assistance to families hit by the tsunami that struck the Sunda Strait in late December 2018. The funding will directly benefit 6,000 of the most affected people, particularly those who are currently displaced, in the worst-hit district of Pandeglang. The latest allocation comes in addition to the initial €80,000 delivered immediately after the disaster, bringing to the EU total humanitarian contribution to €380,000.
“This contribution from the EU underlines our solidarity with the people of Indonesia, many of whom have suffered the loss of homes, livelihoods, and belongings in the wake of the tsunami”, said Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management. “This additional assistance will allow our partners to provide crucial support to address the most pressing needs of the hardest-hit families, to help them get back on their feet at the earliest possible.”
The EU assistance will focus on providing relief assistance through the distribution of cash grants to the affected people, enabling them to meet their most urgent needs in terms of food, water, and other essential relief items. Priority will be placed on vulnerable groups, including the elderly, people living with disabilities and women-headed households, who are presently living in temporary settlements and camps in rural, coastal and suburban areas. Hygiene kits will also be provided to women and girls, to allow for the maintenance of good hygiene practices.
The EU funding is being made available via the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) of the European Commission, through its Small Scale Response mechanism.
More than 430 people were killed and some 14,000 others sustained injuries when a powerful tsunami struck the coastal communities of the Sunda Strait on 22 December, triggering strong tidal waves as high as six metres. As the cause of the tsunami was not an earthquake but a volcanic eruption, no early warning was sounded and the people were consequently not prepared. Over 2,700 houses were damaged and more than 40,000 people, displaced – many of whom are currently staying in displacement sites with limited access to basic services. A number of public facilities and infrastructures, hotels, resorts and boats – the main sources of livelihoods for many – were also destroyed or damaged.
In the immediate aftermath of the event, a humanitarian expert from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) was deployed to the affected areas to assess the humanitarian needs arising from the event. The latest disaster occurred while the country is still struggling to recover from recent major earthquakes that wreaked havoc in Lombok (July 2018) and Central Sulawesi (September 2018), claiming thousands lives and leaving behind a trail of destruction. The European Union had already provided a total of over €2 million for the humanitarian responses to these natural disasters.
ECHO’s Small Scale Response fund is a global mechanism which allows for rapid funding for up to € 300,000 for humanitarian aid in countries affected by natural and man-made disasters.
Pierre Prakash, Regional Information Officer for Asia and the Pacific
European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)
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