Ministry responds to isolated areas in quake zone

By October 13, 2009

Indonesia (MNN) — Survivors of Indonesia's deadly
earthquake have developed illnesses caused by poor living conditions in West
Sumatra. Shelter and food remain key concerns in the mountainous regions weeks
after the disaster. Helping them is a
monumental task that has the traditional Non-Government Organizations (NGOs)
scrambling.

According to the National Disaster Management Agency, 809 people died in the magnitude 7.6 quake. 241 more are listed as missing–numbers
aggravated by temblor-triggered landslides in Padang Pariaman. In addition, 1,250 people are injured and more
than 135,300 buildings severely damaged.

Roadways also collapsed, cutting off access to smaller
villages. Weeks after the initial
quake, there are some villages who have had no help at all. Al Goff with Global Aid Network (GaiN USA) spoke
to us from the United Nations' Disaster Headquarters. "They have been
absolutely beside themselves trying to figure out why nobody has shown
up." 

Aid groups are getting immediate needs met in large-population
centers. Goff says remote villages are
too far down the priority list. "What we've tried to do is really focus our attention in areas that
are very difficult to reach–villages where people just can't get
to."   

GaiN USA is working with local partners to supply food,
water, medical supplies and other essential aid to those who desperately need
it. Their Disaster Assistance Relief
Teams endeavor to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross
and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Disaster
Relief and are committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster
Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

The areas where they're sending medical teams are
mainly Muslim areas, making ministry trickier. However, Goff says, "What we have generally found
is that when you have gone that far out of your way to help, people do ask for
the hope that is within you. So, we told our people, 'Be absolutely willing to
share, to love, to pray.'" 

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