Food, Health 'Key Concerns' for Indonesia Quake Victims

Nearly two weeks after the 6.3-quake struck Indonesia’s Java Island, assessments show that availability of food and healthcare are key concerns for quake victims.
( [email protected] ) Jun 08, 2006 11:15 PM EDT

Nearly two weeks after the 6.3-quake struck Indonesia’s Java Island, assessments show that availability of food and healthcare are key concerns for quake victims.

Communities affected by the May 27 quake have expressed that they are particularly concerned about availability of food and healthcare for younger children.

"The children always say it is cold, often cry at night and are scared of unusual sounds," said Regeng, a mother of three.

World Vision, which responded to the quake immediately after it hit, has provided seven community-based health clinics across seven sub-districts with baby porridge and high energy biscuits for children under five, which will receive over 6,300 children in the coming days.

The Christian organization plans to establish two child friendly spaces (CFS) within the week with several more to be opened in the coming weeks. CFS is a program that allows children to express their emotions through games and activities and where they are encouraged to return to routine life. Kits are also being prepared for the children and will include items such as books, pencils, sandals, lunch boxes and toothbrushes.

In addition, World Relief’s new partnership with the United Nation World Food Program (WFP) will also help address the food concern. WR reported on Monday that it had signed an agreement with WFP to distribute food to approximately 3,984 people in Muruh village, Gantiwarno sub district in Yogyakarta’s Klaten district. The group plans to target families whose houses were destroyed and who have no access to alternative food sources.

Under the agreement, WFP will provide 111 tons of food including rice, fortified biscuits and instant noodles, to be distributed by World Relief over a period of two months covering June to July. The daily per capita rations to be distributed are 200 grams of rice, 167 grams of noodles and 150 grams of fortified biscuits.

"This cooperation will ensure a stable supply of food to the affected people here, especially at this time when their buying power and food sources have been severely disrupted," said Galen Carey, the World Relief Partnership Director, after signing the agreement.

On Monday, the Indonesian government revised the official death toll for the quake to 5,782 people. Meanwhile, of the estimated 600,000 people that were left homeless by the May 27 quake, tens of thousands of people still have yet to receive tarpaulins or tents. The number of homes lost is almost twice as many as the number lost in Aceh following the 2004 tsunami.

World Vision has distributed tarpaulins for shelter and family kits to more than 21,500 people. WV staffs reached three villages in Sewon sub-district, Bantul – one of the areas worst affected by the quake on June 6.

"We have had five families sleeping in one tent, only ten people can fit in at one time so many have been sleeping outside," said Mariningsih as she received a tarpaulin and family kits from WV.

"Before today we have not been given one tent for each separate family. I will go and put this up straight away so my four children have a place of their own to sleep in," she added, in a Jun. 8 WV report.

According to WV, the priority for communities in the coming week will be to begin to clear the rubble. WV plans to distribute almost 2,000 tool kits in the coming days to assist the communities in this work.