Joko Widodo Palu earthquake Balaroa residential

Confusion between Indonesian Government and media after Palu earthquake

Palu earthquake in Indonesia is bringing confusion to everyone. Specially to the  Indonesian  authorities and the volunteers and professionals of the NGOs assisting in the disaster.

Confusion for volunteers and NGOs in Palu earthquake in  Indonesia

It seems that on  the one hand, NGO and media complain that it is nearly impossible to help. The government of Indonesia seems to repeat the attitude it kept in the previous tremor in August. The National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) indicated in a press release:

“Foreign citizens workings with NGOs are not authorized to make any activity on the disaster stricken areas. We advise the NGO tha have deployed all their foreign personnel to withdraw immediately. Those who want to assist shouldn’t go straight to the places struck by tragedy and must help ‘in tamdem with local partners’. They should register themselves and must be approved by the government”

Meanwhile the Indonesian Government clarifies its position

Although international media have received with natural surprise the apparent rigidity of the government, the latter insists on clarifying  they are not rejecting international help, but that they think they need to supervise it so everything works in the most productive manner possible. From the foreign ministry they maintain this position:

“All assistance including foreign volunteers should only enter after coordination and approval has been given, so their purpose, role and function are clear. It is important that recovery efforts are well coordinated. We do not want to end up in a situation where we are receiving assistance, where there are already adequate supply or capacity on the ground, while we are not receiving assistance that we really need or lack of capacity on the ground”

More than 2.000 dead in the earthquake

Beyond this petty misunderstandings, the important fact is the victims of this natural disaster. The numbers are terrifying. From BNPB they offer the fatal data: 2010 dead, 671 missing – it is especulated that they could reach up to 5000 –. Furthermore, 65.000 homes are totally or partially destroyed. Meanwhile the UN confirms the numbers of those in need of assistance close to 200.000.
Although for some it would seem this is happening on other planet, we shouldn’t leave this disaster to be forgotten. The position of the government might seem inflexible, but they welcome help nonetheless. From Wholengo we call everyone to collaborate.

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