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The Acheh Times and ASNA Funds: Tsunami Relief

Author: Acheh Times and ASNA
Category: Acheh Tsunami
Date: 01/07/05

Commentary

Aid for tsunami victims

Dear readers,

irst of all, the Acheh Times online with the Achenese Society of North America (ASNA) would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all those who have so generously donated money to aid the victims of the tsunami in Acheh.

We already have a number of aid workers who are on the ground in Banda Acheh, working hard to deliver much-needed food and medical supplies to the victims. According to a UN report yesterday, it has identified at least175,000 refugee camp spots along the Acheh coastline.

ASNA have laid down plans for a 3-tiered approach for disbursing the aid.

  1. In the immediate and short-term: we will be using the donations to help grassroots organizations in Banda Acheh to supply much-needed aid such as food and medical supplies to victims of the tsunami. We foresee that this effort will continue for at least the next 6 months as reconstruction work will take place. We will be concentrating on areas which have not yet received aid (including some areas which are said to be GAM-controlled and may be overlooked by the Indonesian relief efforts).
  1. In the medium-term: in the reconstruction phase of the relief efforts in Acheh, we are hoping to be able to channel some of the funds to helping vulnerable groups such as orphaned children, homeless and displaced persons, and the elderly, to help them rebuild their lives. We need to provide temporary education, shelter and medical care and we are looking to work with grassroots organizations for this purpose.
  1. For the long-term: We will need to focus on helping the Achenese rebuild their economic lives, and to enable them to be a part of a functioning economy and self-sufficient.

We endeavor to utilize the donations that have been given to tsunami victims in Acheh in the best and most efficient way by channeling it to grassroots organizations in Acheh with oversight from ASNA representatives on the ground. We will channel the donations via proper NGOs.

We hope that you will be able to help us in our efforts to save the lives and livelihood of so many in Acheh who have suffered so much in the tragedy.

Update from Lukman Age in Medan

Lukman Age (Jan 03, 2005, at 12noon) have left Medan for Banda Acheh with a truckload of food, medicine, materials and clothes with a number of volunteers. His contact number is +1 6281362496413.

Since Jan 01-03, 2005 in Medan, some of the problems he encountered were:

  1. There are a number of problems faced by activists trying to run small camps (or posts), among the main problem is transportation from Medan to Acheh to distribute aid to remote areas. I had to wait for 2 days to get a truck and had to pay rent amounting to Rp 5 million ( USD 400) for one trip to Banda Acheh. We are also facing problems with high cost of communication, and we do not have any budget for this.
  2. Some of the urgent needs to the Achenese at the moment is food – as there are a number of areas that have yet to receive any aid and survivors are starving. We are bringing in food supplies such as salted/dried fish, anchovies, eggs, rice, peanuts etc.
  3. In the bigger camps run by the government, the procedures to get the supplies for distribution are cumbersome, leading to the aid being stuck in Medan’s Polonia airport, Blang Bintang airport and district offices. In Polonia, there are about 1000 truckloads of aid still undistributed. Friends who came from posts in Medan were unable to get the aid. In fact, district officer of Bireuen, Mustafa Gelanggan, cried because he was also unable to get aid for distribution from Polonia. At the Blang Bintang airport, some are selling instant noodles for about Rp 500 (40 cents) each. In district offices, we were told that people were asked to show their identification before they will be given food, whereas for most of them the tsunami had swept away all their belongings.

 

 

 

 

 

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