Jakarta: The European Union (EU) is allocating €500,000 (over 8.5 billion Indonesian rupiah) to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to families affected by a series of strong earthquakes on the island of Sulawesi.
The funding will address the most pressing needs of around 24,000 people in some of the hardest-hit areas in the districts of Majene, Mamuju and Polewali Mandar in Western Sulawesi province.
"Thousands of people have suffered great losses and are in urgent need of aid in the wake of the earthquakes," said Olivier Brouant, who oversees the EU’s humanitarian response in Indonesia, in a press release on Thursday.
"The contribution from the EU will not only complement the government’s efforts in providing vital assistance to affected families, but will also support the work of the first responders on the ground, to ensure people receive the assistance they need to get through this difficult time," Brouant stated.
The aid will support the Adventist Development and Relief Agency International (ADRA) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) in distributing much-needed assistance. This includes the distribution of cash transfers, emergency shelter tool kits, healthcare, clean water supplies and other essential relief items. The aid will also ensure access to sanitation facilities and good hygiene practices. Furthermore, training on how to rebuild homes to better withstand future hazards will be delivered to increase the resilience of villagers. Special attention will be placed on the most vulnerable and marginalised groups, including female-headed households and people with disabilities.
The EU funding is made available via the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) via its Small Scale Tool mechanism, through which €300,000 has been allocated, as well the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), with €200,000.
More than 80 people were killed and over 900 injured when a strong 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck Majene district on 15 January at a shallow depth of 10 kilometres. The earthquake, which was followed by a series of powerful aftershocks, caused extensive damage to homes, displacing more than 19,000 people. According to available data, hundreds of homes and public facilities, including hospitals and schools, roads, communications networks and other infrastructure sustained severe structural damage. The worst affected areas so far have been Majene, the epicentre, and its neighbouring district of Mamuju.