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Birmingham to feed 40,000 famlies


Yesterday the World Food Programme asked Birmingham's leading NGO to take responsibility for feeding 40,000 families in Sri Lanka for 3 months.

Obviously this is good news, but it sounds a very slow response to something that happened on 26th December. Stories on BBC news indicate that there is a lot of confusion on the ground - something I was worried might happen.

I am told, however, that since Friday, the Department for International Development have refused to fund a project in Banda Aceh. If that turns out to be true then that is quite worrying. I cannot really think of anywhere more in need of International Development than Banda Aceh. I will check this out tomorrow.

The following is the most recent report from IR (thanks also to the Church of the Latter Day Saints (aka The Mormons)).

Briefing:
===================================================================================
A great earthquake occurred at 00:58:50 (UTC) (7:58:50 AM local time) on Sunday, December 26, 2004. The magnitude 8.9 event has been located off the west coast of Northern Sumatra. The quake reported as the world's fifth-largest quake in a century triggered a speeding tsunami that crashed into Indonesia, Sri Lanka and 10 other countries, drowning thousands. Sources mention the total number of dead could reach over 150,000. One of the world's largest relief efforts is under way to help the millions of victims of the Asia quake.

The confirmed death toll from the Indian Ocean earthquake is still rising more than a week after the disaster. The worst-hit country, Indonesia, now says more than 94,000 people died there alone, as total deaths near 140,000. The UN believes the true number killed by the sea surges may never be known as many bodies have been washed out to sea. Sri Lanka and India say they are almost ready to give up on more than 11,000 people still unaccounted for.

In the worst hit area - Indonesia's northern Aceh province - planes carrying supplies are arriving regularly at the main airport and US, Indonesian, Australian and Malaysian military aircraft are ferrying aid to areas of need. But there have been frantic scenes as mobs of desperate survivors scramble to retrieve air-dropped supplies.

UNICEF said it had reports of children dying of pneumonia in Aceh. Many in refugee camps were sick from a variety of ailments, as well as terrible wounds sustained when the tsunami hit. In Banda Aceh and other towns, thousands of rotten corpses still lay in the streets. A Health Ministry official said he had no reports of a cholera outbreak, but the risk was very high. More than 100,000 people are living in temporary shelters and camps in Indonesia alone, many suffering from diarrhoea, fever, respiratory infections, headaches and stomach problems.

In Sri Lanka, aid officials said that while supplies were now pouring in, some well-intentioned donors were clogging up the distribution network with unnecessary items.

Casualty figures (as at 3 January 2005, 12:39 GMT)


1. Indonesia: 94,081
2. Sri Lanka: 29,744
3. India (inc Andaman and Nicobar Is): 9,451
4. Thailand: 5,046
5. Somalia: 142
6. Burma: 53
7. Maldives: 74
8. Malaysia: 67
9. Tanzania: 10
10. Seychelles: 1
11. Bangladesh: 2
12. Kenya: 1

Source: Government officials


Islamic Relief’s Action
• Islamic Relief has launched a £4,000,000 target appeal.
• Islamic Relief has allocated an initial £1,000,000 for relief and rehabilitation intervention in the region, with a focus on Indonesia (Aceh) and Sri Lanka.

Indonesia

1. A plane sent by IR USA with donations from the Church of Latter Day Saints has arrived in Medan (North Sumatra). The contents of the plane are as follows:
o 40,000 pounds (weight) of medical supplies: surgical tools,
o medical devices, gloves, sponges, bandages, gowns, test tubes, blood pressure cuffs, etc.
o .20,000 pounds (weight) of first aid supplies: bandages, aspirin,
o disinfectants, etc.
o 28,000 individual hygiene kits: soap, toothpaste, combs,
o washcloths, etc.
o 40,000 pounds (weight) of clothing and shoes

2. According to the UN ninety percent of the logistical problems of delivering aid to the tsunami affected people are in Aceh because the communities are more remote, because the damage was much bigger, because the roads are more damaged (and) because the airstrips are fewer and they are more damaged.


Sri Lanka
3. IR will focus its efforts on the Eastern Province and in particular Ampara district.
o Activity 1: Distribute NFIs to 10,000 families including:
• Hygiene & Family Kits (each kit will include 2 bars of laundry soap; 2 bars of bathing soap; 5 toothbrush; 1 pack of toothpaste; 2 towels; 1 large mosquito net; 5 plates; 2 glasses; 2 cups; 2 spoons, 1 large mugs, sanitary towels) – with hygiene promotion.
• Kitchen Sets
• Jerry cans
• Plastic sheeting
• Water purifiers
o Activity 2: Support 2,000 displaced families to return to partially damaged homes by providing reconstruction materials for home cleaning and repair.
o Activity 3: Provide 10 latrines per camp across 50 camps.
4. IR has so far distributed 432 hygiene kits in Ampara district.
5. The following relief items are being procured at the moment:

Clothing pack for 2,600 people

Underwear
Towels
Pillows
Baby mosquito net
Baby clothing

6. A proposal have been submitted to fundraising division which aims to focus on affected families of the Ampara district in the Eastern Province, in the vicinity of Kalmunai town (particularly villages of Maruthamunai, Karaithivu and Sainthamaruthu).

France
In kind donations have arrived in Indonesia from France
o 88 kg of sheets
o 504 kg of nappies
o 300 kg hygiene kits
o 1296 kg of clothes and shoes
o 208 kg toys

USA
• A wide body Cargo plane carrying about 160,000 Ib of medical supplies and hygiene kits is due to arrive at 3am on 3 January local time in Indonesia (with thanks to Church of Latter Day Saints).

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