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Indonesia: PMI and ICRC assist victims of the recent violence in Ambon, Moluccas

21-05-2004 News Release 04/67

Following the violent confrontations that shook Ambon City in late April, the Indonesian Red Cross (Palang Merah Indonesia - PMI) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) recently provided basic cooking, hygiene and shelter items to almost 1,100 families (4,300 people) who had to flee their homes because they were destroyed by fire or located in unsafe areas.

Thanks to its well-established local network in Ambon, the PMI, working together with the ICRC, was able to assist the victims of the violence in a targeted and efficient manner. It coordinated its activities with the local civilian and military authorities, which granted the Red Cross teams complete access to the area. Local community leaders praised the assistance as fair and balanced, with all victims being registered independently and the distribution carried out directly by PMI volunteers and ICRC staff.

The assistance was provided to displaced families currently staying in 26 collective centres. It consisted of family kits comprising cooking utensils, sleeping mats, sarongs, washing basins, soap and other hygiene material, the aim being to improve living conditions and prevent the hygiene situation from worsening. Tarpaulin sheets were distributed for shelter and construction material (wooden poles and planks) delivered to strengthen the roofs of collective centres, some of which were on the verge of falling in. Baby parcels were provided to help maintain good conditions of hygiene among children under the age of two.

The PMI and the ICRC had provided emergency medical assistance in late April and early May and continue to monitor the situation in Ambon City in order to be able to respond should further needs arise.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Martin Unternahrer, ICRC Jakarta, tel.: +62 21 739 6756 / 720 72 52  

 Eros Bosisio, ICRC Geneva, tel. ++41 22 730 21 01