Aid flows into Indonesia

Contributions continued to flow to Indonesia in response to the earthquake that rocked the country in late May, and the official death toll dropped to 5,800 from 6,200 as of June 5, the Associated Press reported.

Estimates of fatalities fell following news that some of the missing had been found alive and other victims had been counted more than once among the dead, AP said.

But aid workers now are concerned about possible disease outbreaks as a result of conditions in which people are forced to cook and clean with dirty water, and where some are living in chicken coops, adding to fears of a bird flu outbreak in a country where three dozen people have died of the virus since early 2005, Reuters said.

Nearby Mount Merapi, a volcano that was spewing hot ash before the earthquake hit, remains at the highest level of danger of eruption.

The Indonesian government, which declared a three-month, country-wide emergency period, says it now has enough medical workers in the country, and that it is time for the rebuilding to start, Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported.

Sri Mulyani Indrawati, the Indonesian finance minister, said the cost of reconstruction in the coming months is estimated at US$100 million, and at least $27 million in grants has been pledged by China, Saudi Arabia, the United States, the Asian Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank, the news agency said.

Here is a list of organizations that have provided aid to date:

  • American Red Cross contributed an initial $219,000, set up field hospital with 60 beds, sent 400 Indonesia Red Cross Volunteers. To donate call 1-800-Red-Cross or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) or visit its website.
  • Salvation Army made an immediate grant of $20,000, with a locally-based Compassion in Action team on the ground. To donate visit its website.
  • United Nations, established a coordination center close to Yogyakarta airport. Visit its website for information.
  • UNICEF distributed 5,000 plastic sheets, 20 school tents, 30 water bladders, 6,000 hygiene kits and 3,000 jerry cans, and is also establishing seven “kid-friendly” zones to help children traumatized by the quake. UNICEF officials believe 40 percent of the displaced are children. Visit its website.
  • World Food Program shipped 40 tons of supplies, and is establishing warehouses for distribution. Visit its website.
  • Permanent Mission of India has given shelter assistance to more than 10,000 families and is building a water plant in Gatiwarno to provide clean water for 20,000 people. Visit its website.
  • Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute is building 100 communal latrines, organizing community-based hygiene campaigns and distributing 400 shelter recovery kits and 1,000 household kits. Visit its website.
  • Caritas, a RomanCatholic charity, opened the doors of churches and Catholic hospitals in the area to provide shelter, clothing and food. Visit its website.
  • Islamic Relief allocated $928,000 to relief efforts and is appealing for $3.7 million more, worked with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to ship supplies, and partnered with Los Angeles radio station KFI to encourage listeners to donate. Visit its website.
  • Lutheran World Relief contributed an initial $25,000, and channeled through global aid alliance Action by Churches Together. To donate, call 1-800-LWR-LWR2 or visit its website.
  • Mercy Corps’ 200-person in-country staff has handed out “survival kits” with tarps, blankets and hygiene items. To donate, call 1-800-852-2100 or visit its website.
  • Oxfam America has provided emergency shelter materials, clean water and sanitation facilities, hygiene kits and sarongs to victims. It has also built water tanks at three hospitals and is working on a three-month disaster response plan. To donate, call 1-800-77-OXFAM or visit its website.

For a more comprehensive list of organizations providing aid to the earthquake survivors and ways to help, visit Network for Good’s website.

— Compiled by Leslie Williams

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