Thursday, 28 October – Singapore’s humanitarian NGO Mercy Relief (MR) today received separate requests for assistance for the twin disasters in Indonesia from the local district government of Magelang, Yogyakarta, and local NGO IBU Foundation for the Merapi volcano and Mentawai tsunami respectively.
The Indonesian military (TNI) have helped to somewhat stabilise the situation in Mentawai, although the ground still suffers from shortage of food and medical supplies for the displaced survivors due to the difficulty of access into Mentawai. IBU Foundation has been on the ground since Wednesday to help with the relief operations. It has previously worked with MR for the Aceh tsunami in 2004, and the Java and Padang earthquakes in 2009. Mercy Relief’s local staff and partners in West Sumatra will be procuring relief supplies in Padang and dispatched them to Mentawai.
Over in Yogjakarta, more than 40,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) are now being placed in public facilities like schools and government buildings. Mercy Relief’s Chief Executive Hassan Ahmad said, “The current ground situation is quite similar to the one Mercy Relief responded to in 2006 where the IDPs do not have sufficient food, hygiene kits and proper sanitation facilities. Many are suffering from respiratory problems and with the overcrowding living conditions, this may pose another menace - an outbreak of infectious diseases.”
MR will be deploying a relief team to Magelang, Central Java on Saturday morning to procure and distribute food and hygiene kits, as well as provide temporary latrines and washrooms at the IDP camps.
MR has applied for a single fundraising permit to raise funds for both disaster relief efforts from the Commissioner of Charities.