JAKARTA - Plan International has deployed emergency response teams to assess the urgent and immediate needs of children and families affected by the 6.5-magnitude earthquake that struck Aceh province in Indonesia on December 7.
According to the government reports, the earthquake has caused more than a hundred deaths and left thousands homeless, seeking temporary protection in displacement camps.
“Working with local partners, Plan International teams are on the ground in the most affected areas to assess the extent of the damage and determine our humanitarian interventions,” said Irsyad Hadi, Communications Officer for Plan International Indonesia currently deployed in the affected areas. “We will support the government and coordinating bodies to ensure that emergency support is provided to children, and those most affected, as quickly as possible,” he added.
Based on an initial assessment, the local government has identified the immediate need for food and clean water, medical equipment, sanitation and hygiene materials, and temporary shelters.
“Medical care is still limited, leaving families in displacement camps to wait for hours to receive support and care. As families continue to stay in open, shared camps, we need to ensure that children and their families have access to clean water and sanitation in order to prevent the spread of any potential diseases,” said Hadi.
According to the District Education Office, 37 schools were damaged by the earthquake, leaving thousands of children unable to resume their education. Government has also indicated that all schools in affected areas will remain closed until early January.
“When the earthquake happened, I was preparing to go to school. I immediately ran to my house,” said Naisa, 10, from the Pidie Jaya district. “All of my friends are afraid. They also did not go to school when the earthquake happened. Now my school is closed,” she added.
“Schools that were the source of security and protection for students have been destroyed, leaving children more vulnerable. Safe places must be provided to children where they can study and play and where their emotional needs are being addressed,” said Hadi.
NOTE TO EDITORS: Spokespersons in Pidie Jaya are available for interview.
Photos are available here: http://mediabank.plan-international.org/?c=32379&k=8795d2706a.
About Plan International Indonesia
Working in Indonesia since 1969, Plan International is helping marginalized children to access their rights to health, sanitation, education, livelihoods, and protection.
About Plan International USA
Plan International USA, part of the Plan International Federation, is a child-centered development organization that believes in the promise and potential of children. For more than 75 years in over 50 developing countries, Plan has been breaking the cycle of child poverty. Everything Plan does – from strengthening health care systems to improving the quality of education, to advocating for increased protection and beyond – is built with, and owned by, the community. The result is a development approach designed to improve the lives of the youngest members of the community for the longest period of time. For more information, please visit https://www.planusa.org.