UK aid agencies launch appeal for Indonesia earthquake and tsunami survivors

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UK aid agencies are launching a joint fundraising appeal to try and help the survivors of the Indonesia earthquake and tsunami.

More than 1,500 people are thought to be dead, missing or injured after last Friday’s 7.5 magnitude tremor and wave.

Rescuers are struggling to reach devastated communities.

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Indonesia Tsunami Appeal, which is being launched on Thursday, comes as authorities fear that casualties and the number of people who have been displaced will rise within days.

Up to 1.5 million people may have been affected.

DEC chief executive Saleh Saeed said: “DEC member charities and their local partners are working closely with the Indonesian authorities to get aid to those who urgently need it, as well as helping survivors to cope with the trauma of the last few days.

“As the full scale of the disaster unfolds, they are providing emergency relief and are ready to help devastated communities to rebuild their lives.

“There is an urgent need for clean drinking water, food, medical care and shelter.

“Please give generously and let’s save the survivors.”

Anyone wishing to make a donation can go online, at,  call the 24-hour hotline on 0370 60 60 900, donate over the counter at any high street bank or post office, or send a cheque.

A £5 donation can be made by texting SUPPORT to 70000.

DEC said that texts cost £5 and the whole £5 goes to the appeal.

Plumes of volcanic ash rising from Mount Soputan
Plumes of volcanic ash rising from Mount Soputan (Yehezkiel Dondokambey/AP)

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt has said that thousands of shelter kits, solar lanterns and water purifiers are being sent to the disaster zone.

Ms Mordaunt said: “It’s essential we get vital UK aid supplies, including shelter kits, to those affected by the recent earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia as quickly as possible.

“This is extremely challenging given the devastation.

“The UK is a leader in providing emergency humanitarian assistance when disaster strikes and our expertise will help greatly.”

  • 1,300 shelter kits
  • 2,300 water purifiers
  • 1,000 solar lanterns

The supplies are to try and help more than 70,000 people forced to flee their homes.

Supplies include 1,300 shelter kits, which can accommodate five people each, 2,300 water purifiers and 1,000 solar lanterns.

Ms Mordaunt has also pledged an extra £1 million in aid to support immediate relief efforts on the ground, taking the UK assistance to £3 million.

A team of five UK humanitarian experts left London for Sulawesi earlier this week, and are now helping to coordinate the humanitarian response on the ground.

A sixth team member has joined them, and the UK will keep its support under review.

The UK has also offered the use of HMS Argyll, currently located in Singapore, to support the humanitarian relief effort.

The government of Indonesia has thanked the UK Government for this offer, but said it is not needed at this time.

The Department for International Development (DfID) funding is on top of existing UK-funded support through humanitarian agencies on the ground.

These include the DfID-backed UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which has allocated  15 million US dollars to the Indonesia earthquake response.

DfID provided 20% of all contributions to the fund in 2017.

The  15 million dollars will allow UN agencies and humanitarian organisations to rapidly scale up aid operations providing shelter, clean water and health support.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has almost 300 specialist volunteers and staff carrying out search and rescue missions and providing emergency health assistance on the ground.

The European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) has made 1.5 million euro available to support the relief effort.

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