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Cablegate: Mgeap1: Indonesia Earthquake Humanitarian Update #3

VZCZCXRO5266
OO RUEHDT RUEHPB
DE RUEHJA #1698/01 2811021
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 081021Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3536
INFO RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 7974
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1078
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 8829
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 JAKARTA 001698

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP, CA
STATE FOR USAID
USAID FOR DCHA/OFDA CCHAN, ACONVERY, RTHAYER, AND RMT
USAID FOR ANE KROSEN
BANGKOK FOR ADWYER
NSC FOR CPRATT
USUN FOR DMERCADO
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH
PACOM POLAD/J3/J5

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV CASC ECON EAID SENV ID PHUM AEMR ASEC CASC
MARR, PREL, PINR, AMGT, EAID, AQ, LA, RP, TN, VM, WS

SUBJECT: MGEAP1: INDONESIA EARTHQUAKE HUMANITARIAN UPDATE #3

-------
Summary
-------

1. The September 30 earthquake damaged or destroyed approximately
210,000 houses and affected at least 1.2 million people. Field
assessments conducted by the USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team
(USAID/DART) indicate needs for food, safe drinking water, and
shelter interventions. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has issued preliminary findings of the
October 1 to 5 joint humanitarian needs assessment. USAID's Office
of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) has received
proposals and anticipates receiving additional proposals. End
summary.

-------------------------
Number of People Affected
-------------------------

2. The U.N. World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the
earthquake affected 1.2 million people in Padang District, according
to U.S. Embassy staff in Padang.

----------------------------
USAID/DART Field Assessments
----------------------------

3. The USAID/DART continues to conduct field assessments. On
October 8, the USAID/DART program officer and field officer are in
Padang Pariaman and Adam districts, assessing humanitarian access,
determining priority needs of earthquake-affected families, and
examining potential geographic gaps in the humanitarian response to
date.

-- Food and Nutrition --

4. The USAID/DART has investigated rumors of shortages of food and
medicine in one subdistrict and noted that supplies of medicine are
sufficient. According to the USAID/DART, food is one of the
priority needs of individuals in earthquake-affected areas. The
U.N. World Food Program (WFP) has redirected $3 million in food
assistance from Aceh to Padang.

5. Preliminary assessments conducted by the USAID/DART indicate
that the price of noodles, one of the staple foods, and the price of
water sold from water vendors are increasing, with the price of
noodles increasing more than 60 percent since the earthquake. The
increase in the cost of food and water raises concerns about
potential food insecurity due to lack of access. Populations in
affected areas were able to plant the recent rice crop, however, and
the agricultural season is still on track, without any significant
interruption.

-- Health --

6. Preliminary assessments by the USAID/DART indicate that the
price of cooking fuel has not increased since the earthquake. This
trend is significant, given the longstanding tradition in West
Sumatra of boiling piped water -- which comes from shallow aquifers,
susceptible to contamination -- to make contaminated water safe for
drinking. Families that lack money to purchase fuel are instead
burning wood and are thus able to maintain this habit, which
protects individuals from water-borne disease.

-- Water and Sanitation --

7. The USAID/DART is investigating rumors of water shortages at
hospitals in and around Padang. The USAID/DART is working to
ascertain whether area hospitals are facing water shortages and, if
so, whether shortages were a result of the earthquake or existed
prior to September 30.

-- Shelter and Settlements --

JAKARTA 00001698 002 OF 003

8. The USAID/DART is investigating a report from the International
Organization for Migration (IOM) of an informal settlement of
approximately 2,000 people in Padang District. The USAID/DART will
ascertain why individuals in this settlement were unable to return
to points of origin. The vast majority of earthquake-affected
populations have remained at points of origin and have not been
displaced to informal settlements. The trend to stay in areas of
origin -- even if houses are damaged or uninhabitable -- reduces
humanitarian needs and facilitates the humanitarian community's
response to existing needs, as long as the area is accessible via
ground transport.

9. As reported by OCHA on October 7, the Government of Indonesia
(GoI) confirmed that the quake severely damaged 102,046 houses,
inflicted moderate damage on 49,864 houses, and slightly damaged
54,606 houses. In addition, staff from the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta
reported that the earthquake damaged or destroyed at least 2,580
religious venues in West Sumatra.

10. The USAID/DART has noted that as of October 6, humanitarian
agencies working to respond to the earthquake had distributed a
total of 10,500 tarpaulins, 2,250 tents, and 47 shelter-in-a-box
sets, out of a total 57,600 tarpaulins, 30,000 shelter kits, 774
shelter-in-a-box sets, 13,900 tents, and 13,020 emergency shelters
planned for distribution.

11. The USAID/DART has received reports that the GoI plans to
provide cash assistance to families whose houses were damaged or
destroyed by the earthquake. The GoI plans to provide IDR 5 million
($530) to families whose houses were slightly damaged, IDR 10
million ($1,060) to families with moderately damaged houses, and IDR
15 million ($1,590) to families whose houses were severely damaged.
These funds are designed to supplement families' available resources
to repair or rebuild. A USAID/OFDA shelter and settlements
specialist, who is tentatively planning to deploy to Indonesia to
join the USAID/DART, will examine options for temporary and
transitional shelter, in conjunction with shelter cluster partners,
including the GoI.

-----------------------------------
Joint Humanitarian Needs Assessment
-----------------------------------

12. From October 1 to 5, U.N. agencies and NGOs conducted a rapid
joint needs assessment. On October 7, OCHA summarized the results
of the assessment.

-- Livelihoods and Agriculture: The quake damaged some fish landing
centers, auction halls, and irrigation canals.

-- Food Security and Nutrition: The humanitarian community expects
the need for rice stocks to increase and is prioritizing procuring
rice and obtaining funding to support complementary food supplies.

-- Health: Mobile clinics are needed to treat injured persons,
particularly in rural areas. The humanitarian community is
concerned about the health status of the affected population due to
high rates of respiratory infections and diarrhea and high levels of
stress.

-- Shelter and Non-Food Items: The majority of affected populations
are living in close proximity to damaged houses and urgently require
emergency shelter and relief items.

-- Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH): Affected populations
require safe drinking water transported by bowsers. Additional
bowers and storage capacity are needed to meet SPHERE standards for
drinking, cooking, and basic hygiene. An estimated 200,000 people
require access to basic water supplies and sanitation and hygiene
services, according to participants in the joint humanitarian
assessment.


JAKARTA 00001698 003 OF 003


--------------------------
Humanitarian Response Plan
--------------------------

13. The U.N. is planning to release the Humanitarian Response Plan
on October 9, and USAID/DART and Mission staff will attend the
release. Similar to a U.N. flash appeal, the plan will summarize
humanitarian needs and request assistance from the international
community.

----------------------------------
USAID/OFDA Humanitarian Assistance
----------------------------------

14. The USAID/DART is reviewing proposals and anticipates receiving
additional proposals from potential partners.

-----------------------
DoD Earthquake Response
-----------------------

15. On October 7, during the first day of operation, the U.S.
Department of Defense (DoD) Humanitarian Assistance Rapid Response
Team (HARRT), or mobile medical unit, treated more than 100 patients
in Padang. DoD anticipates that the number of patients treated per
day will increase as word spreads about the medical unit. Families
of patients and administrators of a nearby hospital stated that they
were very pleased with the field hospital, and local media provided
positive coverage of the field hospital's activities.

--------------------------------------------- --
Transition from Emergency to Reconstruction and Rehabilitation
--------------------------------------------- --

15. As reported by the U.N., the Humanitarian Response Plan, which
supports the GoI's humanitarian response efforts, will last for 90
days. The GoI has declared that the emergency phase will last for
one month, followed by the reconstruction and rehabilitation phase
that is planned to commence on November 1 and last until March
2010.


Osius#

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