Food aid reaches Java earthquake and tsunami victims

Published on 20 July 2006

Working in close cooperation with Indonesian authorities, WFP has rapidly responded to the immediate needs of persons affected by the July 17 earthquake and tsunami in West Java.

Working in close cooperation with Indonesian authorities, WFP has rapidly responded to the immediate needs of persons affected by the July 17 earthquake and tsunami in West Java.

WFP is now delivering emergency food assistance to the victims and planning for a greater response as details and locations of the areas hardest hit by the tsunami are reported.

Emergency food rations are now being distributed to the victims who need it most.

Tony Banbury, WFP Regional Director for Asia

A UN rapid assessment team with WFP participation has reported the most severe damage in the Western Java Province, including over 400 homes and 63 hotels severely damaged, and extensive destruction in the district of Ciamis, which includes the hard-hit resort town of Pangandaran, roughly 450 km south of Jakarta.

WFP teams, working in conjunction with a broader UN assessment team made up of representatives of UNICEF, OCHA, UNDP and WHO, continue to survey tsunami damaged-areas in Western Java.

Displaced

Local Indonesia authorities report a total of 37,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the West Java province, although reports from the UN assessment team indicate that many of these people may quickly return to their homes.

In Pandangaran, 16 IDP camps have been set up, as well as eight public kitchens managed by the local Red Cross and other NGOs. The WFP assessment team has visited five IDP camps.

Close cooperation

“Emergency food rations are now being distributed to the victims who need it most,” said Tony Banbury, WFP’s Regional Director for Asia.

“Close and quick cooperation between the Indonesian government, the World Food Programme and the local Red Cross (PMI) ensured food was one thing the victims of yet another natural disaster in Indonesia did not have to worry about.”

High energy biscuits

Ten metric tonnes of WFP food aid – micronutrient-enriched noodles and biscuits – have arrived so far, and is already being distributed to IDPs in and around Pandangaran by the local Red Cross. WFP has dispatched another shipment of approximately 10 metric tonnes of the same commodities today.

WFP is working closely with local officials to ensure that food aid distribution is coordinated and delivered to those most in need.

Existing stocks

Local officials in the Pandangaran area indicate that with their own existing stocks (especially rice, and some quantity of noodles) together with WFP’s assistance, they have enough food to support the displaced population for the next 10 to 14 days.

For longer-term assistance, and in coordination with local authorities in the West Java province, WFP is discussing with the Indonesian Coordinating Ministry of People’s Welfare preparations to provide short-term emergency food aid for one month to the displaced population as a supplement to the Government’s own aid. The local Red Cross will serve as WFP’s cooperating partner.