World Vision Aids Worst Affected Flood Victims in Indonesia

World Vision staff members in Jakarta have teamed up to organize and distribute emergency relief aid after severe floods hit the Indonesian capital city. Hundreds of thousands of people were forced to flee their homes in a desperate attempt to find a safe place to shelter.

At least 44 people have been reportedly killed in the disaster and between 220,00 and 430,000 have been made homeless while all business activities in the city have been grounded to a halt. The floods have been described as the worst to hit Jakarta in over five years, worse than the severe floods which overwhelmed the capital city in February 2002.

Reports show that about a half of the city's areas were completely flooded and nine million residents are now on its highest level of alert.

All World Vision Indonesia projects in Jakarta, which are mostly based in slum areas, have suffered from the floods. The Christian relief group's Area Development Programs, or ADPs, are currently funded by international support offices such as World Vision Canada, Singapore and Japan. Current estimates from the World Vision National Office show that some 3000-5000 sponsored children may have been impacted.

The first distribution by World Vision – which consisted of blankets, sarongs and raincoats – were delivered Friday to 600 affected families in Cawang neighbourhoods.

"The community at the temporary shelters greatly appreciate the assistance because they could better protect their families from the rains and cold night," said Jimmy Nadapdap, who led the distribution team.

On Saturday, the World Vision team further distributed 600 packages of family kits in the same neighborhoods. As the floods began to affect a number of other World Vision ADP areas, the team continued to distribute much-needed blankets, sarongs, noodles, mineral water and other key items in Kebon Pala and Cilincing ADPs. By Sunday, World Vision was in the process of distributing 1,300 packages of essential baby kits in Kebon Pala area.

World Vision Indonesia National Director Trihadi Saptoadi joined the distribution team to conduct a closer observation of the impact of the floods on the lives of the poor communities served by World Vision. "We will concentrate more on the victims in ADP areas as they are among the worst affected people," he said. "We are assessing the most appropriate relief programs that we need to introduce in the coming days."

The distribution and relief response was able to operate efficiently and with speed due to the active support given by the affected communities and their leaders, many of which prior to the floods had been part of World Vision-facilitated self-help groups.