Government asks relief groups to leave Indonesia.

By March 14, 2005

Indonesia (MNN) — The government of Indonesia is asking aid groups not involved in reconstruction to leave the tsunami-hit areas. However, they emphasized that foreign help is still needed to assure Banda Aceh’s future.

International Aid has been helping in the region from the beginning. IA’s President Myles Fish says, “We’ve already gotten a letter of endorsement from the minister of health so we think that we’ll be one of the agencies that will be invited to stay. We’re pretty sure that’s the case. But, we’d appreciate people praying that that door would stay open for us.” The deadline for getting out is March 26th.

Indonesia was the hardest hit by the tsunami. More than 125,000 people died and 100,000 are still missing. Fish says IA has been helping in an incredible way. “Well, we already have $11 million (USD) worth of product and supplies that’s been delivered there to Indonesia. We have 14 medical clinics that are up and running in close proximity to the tent cities where they’ve got 500,000 people who are now homeless. Yesterday we started trauma counseling training for people who are going to be working with the victims.”

They also plan to open a medical equipment repair shop, which is where International Aid expects to have spiritual impact. Fish says, “The training programs that I mentioned a minute ago are particularly effective in that because that gives us long-term face to face contact and the opportunity to get to know people and to share our faith, so we’re full of anticipation.”

While the tsunami is out of the headlines, the financial needs aren’t over. “This is going to be a multi-year response for us, not just a number of months so we will continue to need support in the future.”

You can help International Aid by calling (800) 251-2502, or go to their website, http://www.InternationalAid.org.

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