ONE HUMANITY FOR PALU TODAY: INDONESIAN RED CROSS TEAM WITH AIDS POURING DOWN FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES

The Indonesian government initially refused to accept international help, insisting its own military could handle the response.

But as the scale of the disaster in Palu (Central Sulawesi) became clear, President Joko Widodo reluctantly agreed to allow in overseas aid.

It is desperately needed aid to hungry and thirsty victims, which many of them now homeless and sleeping in evacuation camps.

Foreign governments including Singapore, South Korea and Britain, were sending 20 planes to help. Australia and New Zealand are sending air force transport planes to Indonesia carrying tarpaulins, generators and water containers.

Up until now, there are 18 countries that have realized this assistance. The acceptance of assistance from foreign countries was indeed approved by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi). There are even a few heads of state who directly convey the matter of giving aid to the President. They are South Korea, Japan, Switzerland, Singapore, China, Qatar, Turkey, India, Spain, Vietnam, Malaysia, England, New Zealand, Australia, Russia, Pakistan and Denmark.

The Indonesian Government itself has send many aid such as food supply, clothes, and many other logistics.

The International Monetary Fund-World Bank (IMF) through IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde donate 2 billion rupiah as a form of aid which will later be distributed by the Indonesian Red Cross and many non-governmental organizations.

Officials raised the death toll to 1,944, and said more than 2,500 other people were left seriously injured.

At present, the victims and its surroundings need many tents, clean water and generators. For the health sector, a medical team and fogging are needed. As a matter of fact, many aid has been initiated by the government; starting from providing tax liability for the victims, until the allowance to take food items in retail stores.

But according to the civilians the aid has been slow to arrive and looting has broken out. Yesterday, police armed with guns stood guard outside petrol stations to ensure order in long, winding queues.

Trucks carrying supplies have reportedly been ransacked on a route to Palu. Authorities initially turned a blind eye but now police have been rounding up dozens of suspected looters and the military warned that soldiers will fire on anyone caught stealing.

The Indonesian Red Cross has reached previously inaccessible areas of Palu, Donggala and Sigi. The focus of the Indonesian Red Cross operation is now on the distribution of clean water and food, providing medical support, and evacuating survivors from the disaster zone.

A 70 tons of Red Cross relief goods are on their way to Palu. Many roads are still impassible, and access is still a major challenge, but they are bringing goods in by boat and volunteers are carrying aid to isolated communities on foot. The Red Cross teams are doing everything they can to comfort survivors and evacuate them to safer areas of the island.

The volunteers have reached the settlement of Banawa, in Donggala, where every home along the shoreline was wiped out by the tsunami. The team has described Banawa as the worst affected area they have so far seen.

The survivors have been evacuated or have travelled independently to neighbouring houses in the hills, where they need health care, tents, blankets, baby food, and diapers. Heavy machinery has arrived to help excavate buried settlements, and Indonesian Red Cross volunteers will also be helping to manage any dead bodies that are found.

All for One humanity!

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