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Food For The Poor mounts a major tsunami assistance effort in Indonesia.

By January 14, 2005

Indonesia (MNN)–Indonesia’s goverrnment says foreign aid workers headed for Aceh province must travel with a military escort.

The government in Jakarta has said all foreign troops helping the tsunami aid effort in Aceh province must leave by the end of March.

However, the answer came from Indonesia’s military. They claim the restrictions are necessary to protect aid workers from militants, who have been battling for decades to turn Aceh into an independent state. So, the U-S is scaling back some aid efforts in light of security concerns in tsunami-torn Indonesia.

That also is forcing those agencies who are en route to work fast. Food For the Poor’s Angel Aloma says their team headed out yesterday. They’re looking to distribute almost 200-million dollars’ worth of aid this time around, more than eight times their original response. “We sent out an emergency appeal, asking our donors to try to cover the cost of the shipping and all shipping-related costs to send those additional 420 containers to the affected area in Indonesia.”

The containers consist of food, including nutritional bars and protein drinks; water; and medical supplies, including antibiotics, hygiene kits and other medicines.

Aloma says because the aid package is so much larger, they asked all the churches to help with distribution. “I think this will open people, when they see the response of Christian countries. It will open people’s hearts and mind to accept the words of God and the Bible, and I think it’ll be a tremendous opportunity for the churches to minister to all.”

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