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Indonesia: an update on ICRC activities

15-12-2005 Operational Update

Update on ICRC activities in Indonesia, including information on its response to help those affected by the tsunami that wreaked havoc in December 2004.

 The response to the tsunami  


Being one of the few humanitarian organizations then active in the Indonesian province of Aceh, the ICRC played an active role in the aftermath of the tsunami that struck on December 26 2004.

In close collaboration with the Indonesian Red Cross Society (PMI) and other participating National Societies it carried out a number of activities on behalf of the victims.

It established a fully operational field hospital with equipment and staff provided by the Norwegian Red Cross that performed over 700 surgical operations and treated over 10,000 outpatients. The hospital ceased its activities on May 10 2005.

Relief supplies were provided for about 290,000 beneficiaries. These were primarily non-food items such as household kits, tents, hygiene items, underwear, baby kits, and community clean-up and reconstruction kits. In the first few days following the tsunami it distributed food to more than 36,000 beneficiaries pending the establishment of supply lines by other humanitarian agencies.

The organization cleaned, rehabilitated or constructed over 3,260 wells in villages to provide safe water, and built over 700 latrines and washrooms for a total of over 20,000 beneficiaries.

It donated 154 metric tons of water treatment chemicals to the water boards and trucked 37.9 million litres of water to ensure clean drinking water for those in need.

It facilitated 3,850 contacts between family members in the wake of the tsunami and reunited 43 unaccompanied children with close relatives.

Detainees were provided with hygiene kits and other necessities and were able, through the ICRC and PMI, to re-establish contact with their families.

 Present ICRC activities  


The ICRC continues to support the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement's efforts to ensure a coordinated response in favour of tsunami victims, including those living in temporary living centres (TLCs) and tented camps.

It cleans or rehabilitates wells in selected villages not covered by other organisations for residents who have returned and need reliable access to safe water. This programme ended on 27 December 2005.


In close collaboration with the PMI, it strives to restore contact between family members and to reunite unaccompanied children with their relatives in close collaboration with the PMI. It also supports the PMI's efforts to respond to humanitarian needs of vulnerable groups affected by conflict.

The organization continues its activities in places of detention and supports the PMI's efforts to respond to the humanitarian needs of vulnerable groups affected by conflict. It maintains a regular dialogue with the political authorities, the armed and security forces, community leaders and members of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) on humanitarian issues a nd international humanitarian norms. 

The Memorandum of Understanding concluded between the authorities and GAM has resulted in the release of some detainees being visited by the ICRC but the ICRC will continue its work in relation to those still being held.

The ICRC will continue to carry out activities to address the humanitarian consequences of the armed conflict and has already conducted integrated field surveys to more than forty locations in order to assess the situation of conflict-affected communities. It is in the process of responding to identified needs. 

 ICRC Collaboration with the PMI (Palang Merah Indonesia)  


As a part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the ICRC works closely with the PMI (Palang Merah Indonesia / Indonesian Red Cross) both in implementing various humanitarian programmes and assisting the PMI to strengthen its own capacities to respond to humanitarian needs, particularly those arising from conflict.

Capacity-building initiatives are aimed at reinforcing the PMI's ability to provide health and other relief assistance, to restore links between separated families, and to effectively communicate humanitarian principles and relevant aspects of international humanitarian law. The mutually beneficial partnership between the ICRC and PMI impacts on almost all ICRC actions, and enables the ICRC to work through a large network of PMI branches, staff and volunteers.