WVI Responds to Newest Quake Disaster, Continues Long-Term Programs

In Indonesia, staff members of one of the largest Christian relief and development organizations in the world are monitoring the situation on Nias island off the west coast of Sumatra after an 8.7-magnitude earthquake hammered the region, triggering a tsunami scare and killing at least 330 people. Nias was closest to the epicenter of Monday's massive earthquake.

According to reports, the massive earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia Monday evening, destroying hundreds of buildings on Indonesia's island of Nias. Local government officials say 330 people have died.

Patricio Cuevas, communications manager for World Vision in Banda Aceh, said the earthquake shook buildings, shut out power and phone lines, and threw people into a panic. "We knew this was a big one—everything was moving around us and under us," he said.

World Vision, which has helped 1 million survivors from December's devastating quake-tsunami catastrophe, reported that none of its sponsored children were affected, but that it would be responding to the latest disaster.

Shortly before Monday's quake, World Vision's international office announced that it would meet the immediate needs of populations impacted by the Dec. 26 quake-tsunami over the next 90 days, through an integrated humanitarian response, with a special focus on children and vulnerable groups. World Vision also planned on developing and implementing programs aimed at rebuilding communities, and recovering and securing livelihoods.

With existing long-term development programs in India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar, and a global partnership operating in 100 nations, World Vision has been ideally positioned to mobilize resources and staff to tsunami-hit areas. In the first 90 days since Dec. 26, World Vision deployed 175 international staff to the region, as well as approximately 900 national staff and over 400 local volunteers.

In recognition of the size and scale of the disaster and the depth of programming which would be required to recover, sustain, empower and advance affected communities, World Vision agreed on a four-strand strategic response intended to effectively address the critical needs of communities over the next 3-5 years.

Though its official Asia Tsunami Response is set for 3-5 years, World Vision reports that it is committed to long-term sustainable engagement in those countries affected by the tsunami with community-based transformational development programming.