Empowering Indonesian Relief Organizations

Indonesia

February 26, 2001

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    Mercy Corps will provide essential household items such as cooking stoves, bedding, cooking and eating utensils, and water containers to approximately 10,000 displaced families. Photo: REUTERS/ Dadang Tri/ alertnet.org Photo:

Mercy Corps is embarking on an ambitious program to help Indonesian organizations improve the living conditions of approximately 10,000 displaced families on Ambon and surrounding islands.

Violence between Ambon’s Christian and Muslim populations has been ongoing since January 1999, leaving approximately 250,000 residents of the Malukan island displaced from their homes. More than 50,000 people do not have access to minimal and essential non-food items, adequate shelter and basic water and sanitation.

Mercy Corps’ “Quick Impact Grants Program” will support 20 local organizations in identifying and responding to the immediate needs of the most vulnerable in their communities. The US Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance is providing funding for this $832,000 program. This emergency program complements Mercy Corps’ ongoing Ambon program that aims to improve food security and reduce dependency on aid.

“While the present situation is relatively calm, it is unlikely that most displaced families will be able to return to their homes and re-establish their livelihoods any time soon,” reports Mercy Corps’ Country Director Tom Hensleigh. “From our experience in working with organizations in both the Christian and Muslim communities, we developed this program as an efficient and responsible means to provide relief assistance. The heart of our work is to seek out opportunities to encourage nonviolent solutions to difficult issues.”

The six-month program provides:

Minimal essential household items such as cooking stoves, bedding, cooking and eating utensils, and water containers to approximately 10,000 displaced families.

Basic shelter materials to approximately 1,500 displaced families living in overcrowded collective facilities, damaged housing and poor and crowded host-family accommodations.

Essential water and sanitation to approximately 4,000 displaced families.

Assistance to local organizations and networks to strengthen their capacity to identify and prioritize relief needs, manage distributions, monitor results, and coordinate activities in an emergency environment.

Since February 1999, Mercy Corps has been implementing programs valued at more than $24 million in Indonesia benefiting more than a half a million people. The food distribution, small business development, agriculture, health and nutrition education, and emergency relief programs assist people in Jakarta, West and Central Java, Sumatra and Maluku.