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Indonesia: ICRC assists 16,000 displaced people

10-08-2000 News Release 00/30

The security situation in Poso, on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, has temporarily improved, but the sectarian violence that broke out in May has claimed over 200 lives, left over 4,000 homes destroyed and caused thousands of people to seek shelter in safer areas. Approximately 30,000 internally displaced persons are now staying in various towns and villages in central Sulawesi, mostly in private homes or with relatives. An additional 16,000 are living in camps situated around Poso and are in urgent need of help.

This week, as part of an ongoing humanitarian relief programme for the camp dwellers, a joint ICRC / Indonesian Red Cross team completed the distribution of family parcels consisting of sleeping mats, sarongs, cooking pots, cups, plates, soap, detergent, candles, matches and jerrycans to 4,000 heads of families in 40 different locations. About 400 of the most severely affected families also received tarpaulins.

Surveys conducted earlier in the area indicate that while medical and water and sanitation services have been seriously disrupted, displaced persons can still rely on existing coping mechanism and assistance from the local authorities to obtain food.