Birmingham based Islamic Relief was the first charity on the ground in Aceh following the tsunami disaster. "We have already got offices in Jakarta and contacts in Aceh. This enabled us to move people in on the Monday following the tsunami.", said Anamul Haque, Head of the Emergency Relief Department of Birmingham based Islamic Relief.
Islamic Relief's office in Aceh is now stepping up to 30 people on Sunday most of whom are local volunteers from Indonesia. More international support is being added to that office with 3 more people from Birmingham, 1 from France, 1 from the USA and 1 from Pakistan.
In Aceh Islamic relief are handing out essential non food iteams such as disinfectant, tents, plastic sheeting, kitchen equipment, mosquito cartons, clean water bleach and hygiene kits. They are also giving out baby food and offering medical help.
Islamic Relief are also active in Sri Lanka with the Regional Project Coordinator Shabel Firuz (himself from Birmingham) having been there since Wednesday morning. He is now based in Amara 100 miles from the capital Columbo. They also have teams working in Galle and Pulmoddai. These teams are handing out the same non-food items as in Aceh.
Islamic Relief have an intermediate office half way between Jakarta and Banda Aceh in Medan which is 5 hours by car from Banda Aceh and 17 hours by truck.
Islamic Relief staff report that Banda Aceh is completely paralysed. Officials and public sector workers have been incapacitated by their own personal tragedies. Islamic Relief staff reported seeing nine dead bodies in the home of the chief of police.
Local government offices remain closed, including the police. The survivors of the disaster have no one to turn to.
The latter 2 paragraphs of the above was dated 29th December. However, it does show the nature of the problem in the severely affected areas. There is other direct work being done from Birmingham though direct links with Sri Lanka and the Council will be establishing informal links between people doing anything. I am aware of some Hindu Temples down the Soho Road who are working with Sri Lanka.