International Aid Continues to Provide Long-Term Assistance to Tsunami Victims

Although last December's quake-tsunami disaster is no longer front page news, in the areas devastated by the tragedy, the effects are very real and will be felt for years to come, reports a Michigan-based Christian relief and development agency.

“The magnitude of this disaster requires a long-term response,” said International Aid President Myles Fish, in a Mar. 15 statement. “We appreciate the generous contributions toward immediate aid efforts, but we still face many months of providing for the needs of people living in camps and then years of helping people restore their communities and lives.”

Committed to providing long-term assistance to displaced persons and others suffering in Southeast Asia, International Aid (IA) has to date provided shipments to Indonesia that include 15 medical clinics, 17 water purification systems, over-the-counter and prescription medicines; blankets; hygiene products; rice, and baby items including juice, diapers and layettes. Meanwhile, trauma counseling sessions facilitated by IA in Jakarta and Banda Aceh have trained counselors and trainers. Workshop attendees included psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors. Further options to provide emotional crisis counseling are being pursued.

According to their Mar. 15 report, International Aid has signed a Memorandum of Understanding from the Ministry of Health in Aceh Province for it to provide a medical equipment repair and services center where biomed staff and the diagnostic and testing equipment will be available. IA reports that the repair center will have the capacity to support 30 hospitals in the region.

Currently Billy Teninty, IA’s Director of Medical Equipment Training, is in Indonesia to develop this project. Sonny Enriquez, Vice President of Programs, and Dr. Alan Talens, Director of Community Health Care Programs, are also in Indonesia evaluating the long-term needs for community health care, reconstruction of property, and development of job skills to help people meet the challenges of poverty and loss. IA anticipates participating in the rebuilding of the entire healthcare system in the communities hardest hit by the tsunami.

IA also reports that Vice President of Advancement, Dean Agee, and Myron Aldrink, Vice President of Procurement, are traveling to India and Sri Lanka to meet with local partners to coordinate assistance to victims in these countries. To date IA has provided $50,000 worth of food for India and has coordinated a shipment of $5.5 million worth of prescription and over-the-counter medications for Sri Lanka. International Aid Korea has committed to building 20 homes in Sri Lanka.

Over the past ten years International Aid has responded to more than 100 man-made and natural disasters, including Hurricane Mitch in Honduras, 9/11 in New York, and the recent hurricanes in Florida and Alabama. It is a health-focused Christian relief and development organization that provides for both the physical and spiritual needs of people worldwide.