This Week in Restoring Family Links: 12/7/16-12/8/16

Sophia Fredericks, Social Engagement Intern, Washington, D.C.

"The Indonesian Red Cross has mobilized its network of volunteers to support search, rescue and body retrieval efforts." Photo Credit: Indonesian Red Cross

"The Indonesian Red Cross has mobilized its network of volunteers to support search, rescue and body retrieval efforts." Photo Credit: Indonesian Red Cross

Indonesia: The Indonesian Red Cross has been working to provide aid since the province of Aceh has been hit by an earthquake. Volunteers have been mobilized in order to deliver relief assistance as well as to participate in search and rescue efforts. Rudianto Sunarto, the Head of the Indonesian Red Cross office in Aceh said “When the earthquake struck we evacuated people to the hospital in Pidie Jaya but by 11:00 am the hospital could no longer cope with the number of patients coming in and we took the wounded to hospitals in Sigli and Bireun District.”

The earthquake had a magnitude of 6.5 and so far has killed as many as 100 people. It was found that the earthquake centered in Aceh’s east coast in Pidie Jaya. Young children were among those who were killed and an addition 136 were injured. Homes and other structures were destroyed. Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the spokesman for the National Board for Disaster Management is calling for search and rescue operations to move quickly

Many people are homeless following the earthquake and volunteers from the Indonesian Red Cross are saying temporary shelters are needed. The Red Cross will be distributing psychological support along with basic necessities such as food, water and healthcare. The IFRC is currently working to help support the Indonesian Red Cross and will also be releasing funds to provide assistance from the Disaster Relief Fund.

Toretsk: In Toretsk City on the night of November 22nd, as many as 80,000 people were faced with a water shortage. This water shortage also caused  45,000 people to be without heat. The reasons the water shortage occurred is indefinite as it could have stemmed from a bad water pipe or military operations. The part of the pipe which was damaged was found to be in a buffer zone village.

Photo Credit: ICRC

Photo Credit: ICRC

The ICRC has been negotiating a cease fire for the area and negotiations were ultimately successful. Sarah A. Raoui, deputy head of the ICRC office in Slaviansk said “It is quite of a sensitive place, located on the buffer zone, between the position of parties to the conflict...It is our role as a neutral humanitarian organization, to stand by those who are conducting this very dangerous task. Water is an essential mean of survival.” It is found that it is quite common for there to be a lack of maintenance along zones of conflict in Eastern Ukraine. The ICRC is ready to help with repair teams when it is needed.