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Caritas NZ to give $20,000 to Indonesia Earthquake

Tuesday 30 May, 2006
Press release: Indonesian Earthquake #2

Caritas NZ to give $20,000 to Indonesia Earthquake Relief

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand pledged an initial $20,000 to assist with the humanitarian response following the Indonesian earthquake. The 6.3 magnitude quake has claimed the lives of more than 5,000 and left hundreds of thousands homeless.

Caritas Chief Executive, Michael Smith, says the money pledged by New Zealand will go towards the Caritas confederation response of US$ 1.2 million.

Following the earthquake, local Catholic parishes and staff from member Caritas organisations have been assisting victims of the earthquake with temporary shelter, first aid, and emergency food and non-food assistance. Seven Catholic hospitals in the area have been treating the injured, while outreach teams of doctors and nurses have provided medical assistance to people in more remote areas. The national office of the Catholic Health Commission ‘Perdhaki’ has also arranged for more doctors and nurses to be sent to Yogyakarta from Catholic hospitals in Jakarta and Bandung. Medical supplies are being replenished under Government/UN coordination.

Damage and needs assessments by local Church and Caritas teams continue to take place. Caritas members have been assisted in their response by the presence of pre-positioned resources in Central Java, in the event of the displacement of people living in the surrounds of the erupting volcano of Mt. Merapi, some 100 miles from Yogyakarta.

Initial assessments estimate that 20 percent of the houses in Bantul have been completely destroyed, leaving upwards of 46,000 households (or approximately 230,000 people) homeless. A Catholic parish network in the rural areas has facilitated the delivery of relief assistance to affected communities who are sleeping outside and enduring rain at night. Other hard-hit districts include the city of Yogyakarta, and the districts of Klaten and Sleman.

In Klaten, which sustained heavy loss of life and extensive property and infrastructure damage, local parishes are assisting the displaced survivors, and the injured. Immediate relief needs include blankets, dry foods, tents, and medical items particularly for bone fractures. Following assessments yesterday, tents and cooking sets are being sourced from Jakarta and through international suppliers. A psycho-social response team is being formed to respond to traumatised survivors.

Caritas reports that many areas are without electricity and phone services. In the short term, the Caritas response is focusing on the distribution of pre-positioned non-food items (hygiene kits, family kits, prayer kits, blankets, clothing etc), the removal of debris, and the provision of temporary shelters, while medium-term plans centre on semi-permanent to permanent housing and rehabilitation programmes.

Caritas assistance is provided to people based on their need, regardless of any religious affiliation.

Donations can be made by phoning 0800 22 10 22, 0900 4 11 11 for an automatic $20 donation or by visiting www.caritas.org.nz


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