The Government of Indonesia has exerted all possible steps to deal with the aftermath of the natural disaster that has devastated cities and villages in the provinces of Aceh and North Sumatra. The Government of Indonesia highly appreciates the humanitarian assistance pledged and dispatched by friendly countries from all over the world as well as by international organizations, NGOs, and even individuals.
Given the magnitude of the calamity, especially in Aceh, the Government of Indonesia provides the widest possible access for international humanitarian assistance. Some relief materials provided by 18 friendly countries and some humanitarian organizations – namely through 42 sorties of cargo and other flights – have currently been sent via Polonia Airport, Medan, or directly to Sultan Iskandar Muda Airport, Banda Aceh (list attached). Those relief materials consisted of priority and emergency items such as food, medicine, blanket, body bags, generator set, clothes, tents, mattress, masks, water treatment, sanitary equipment, building material, etc.
The international humanitarian assistance has been provided in financial donation or, generally, in-kind. Most of the assistance has been directly handed over by the donors to the National Agency for Natural Disaster Relief (Bakornas PBP) or the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI). Some assistance also comes in the form of sending search and rescue (SAR) as well as medical team.
Distribution of the assistance has been carried out by Bakornas PBP or PMI. By way of notification to the Indonesian authority, NGOs from donating countries could also directly distribute relief materials to the disaster areas.
To expedite the transportation of in-kind assistance and relief workers from donating countries, the Government of Indonesia has so far issued 50 flight clearances, the procedure of which have been considerably simplified. The crew of such cargo flight have also been granted visa-on-arrival facility (no fee incurred).
One of the most difficult challenges at this stage is to transport and distribute relief materials to isolated areas in which communication system and other infrastructure are no longer operational. In this connection, the Government of Indonesia wishes to take this opportunity to express its appreciation and gratitude to some countries which have made available their air transports, inter alia, Australia (3 Hercules C-130 and 1 transportable emergency hospital), New Zealand (1 Hercules C-130), Singapore (4 helicopters), and India (1 floating hospital). We further appreciate more offers by friendly countries to mobilize more air transport to reach out to isolated areas.
During his telephone conversation with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, President Yudhoyono expressed his appreciation for the UN support to Indonesia’s proposal for the convening of an international conference to coordinate efforts for reconstruction and rehabilitation of the disaster areas. In this regard, Indonesia also notes with appreciation that its proposal proves to have enjoyed growing support of the international community.
The following is the tentative list of international humanitarian assistance already pledged and, some of them, disbursed to disaster areas. This tentative list will be updated in a regular basis.
Jakarta, 30 December 2004