JAKARTA, (December 24, 2018) – CARE today began preparations to distribute 200 hygiene kits containing sarongs, toothbrushes, soap, towels, and sanitary pads for some of those worst affected by the most recent tsunami in Indonesia’s Sunda Straits, the third natural disaster to hit the country in six months. “I was sleeping when it all happened,” says 21 year old survivor Farrell, his voice sounded shaken and traumatized as he described his experience. “We ran without direction, trying to escape. We saw many people with injuries and bleeding. I saw one dead body.”
CARE is also sending a team of emergency experts to the area and will join other humanitarian organizations to do an assessment of the damage and the needs, and will work to establish the particular needs of affected women and understand their specific concerns. CARE has an additional 800 hygiene kits ready to be packed and distributed if needed.
“This is an area with a number of hotels and small businesses,” says Helen Vanwel, CARE’s country director in Indonesia. “There was very little warning before this tsunami struck, and we are still very concerned that the nearby volcanic activity may cause further damage, so we are closely monitoring the situation and making contingency plans.”
CARE already has an office and local partners in the affected area. “We are well positioned to respond if the numbers rise, or a further eruption occurs” adds Vanwel. “We have seen almost back to back disasters across the country in the last six months and we are struggling to respond to all the different emergencies. It is crucial to work with vulnerable communities to build up their resilience and preparedness to disasters; from shelters to livelihoods, and being able to notice some of the early warning signs when they are there.”
CARE has worked in Indonesia since 1967, initially focused on food distribution, small infrastructure projects, health, the environment, and water and sanitation. In 2004, CARE was one of the primary emergency responders after the South Asian tsunami that hit Indonesia. Emergency response and disaster risk reduction with a focus on women and girls is always CARE Indonesia’s first priority. Its other core activities all focus on women and youth, and include integrated risk management comprising resilience, food security and climate change, in addition to economic empowerment and leadership, and water, sanitation, and hygiene.
Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package®, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside women and girls because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. That’s why women and girls are at the heart of CARE’s community-based efforts to improve education and health, create economic opportunity, respond to emergencies and confront hunger. Last year CARE worked in 93 countries and reached more than 63 million people around the world. Learn more at care.org.
Mahmoud Shabeeb, +962-79-146-39-03 firstname.lastname@example.org (based in Amman, Jordan)