Australian NGOs Respond to Indonesia Earthquake and Tsunami

03 Oct, 2018

As the scale of the earthquake and tsunami disaster becomes clearer in Sulawesi, 18 Australian NGO-members of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), together with their local partners, are responding to the immediate needs of those affected. 

ACFID has created an appeals page which brings together its members’ humanitarian responses and provides information on how the public can offer their support. 

Marc Purcell, CEO of ACFID, said:

“This disaster has claimed over 1,200 lives and affected 1.5 million people, including over 60,000 who have been forced to flee their homes.

“Our members are working on the ground through their local partners. They will use their expertise to support search and rescue teams, provide food, clean drinking water, temporary shelter as well as protection and psychosocial support for children and adults.”

There has been difficulty reaching the areas most affected due to extensive damage to roads, airports and port infrastructure, as well as fuel and electricity shortages and telecommunications outages. This has affected the ability to get clear information about the disaster-affected areas and humanitarian relief to the places that need it most.

ACFID’s members and their local partners are working closely with the Government of Indonesia.

Purcell continued:

“Many of ACFID’s members have a longstanding presence in Indonesia and have strong partnerships throughout the country, through their international federations and local Indonesian NGOs.

“ACFID’s members place high priority on ensuring their assistance is accountable to affected communities, respects and promotes their dignity, and strengthens local capacities to respond.”

ACFID’s Humanitarian Policy and Advocacy Advisor, Jen Clancy, described how the Australian public can support the relief effort:

“Sometimes it can be hard for the public to get a clear picture of how Australia is responding to disasters. ACFID has brought together information on how our members are assisting the people of Sulawesi and how Australians can help.

“Members of the public can be assured that their support for our members is meeting identified needs.”

The ACFID Code of Conduct sets standards for its members to make appeals for donations for large emergencies and crises. This includes a responsibility to provide clear information to donors on the humanitarian response and the work they are doing with affected communities.

ACFID and its members have asked the public to show their generosity with cash donations, rather than sending unrequested goods to Indonesia.  

Clancy added:

“Goods sent to disaster zones like this can end up in landfill. We would ask Australians to put their generosity into cash donations. Cash is fast, flexible and used to meet immediate needs.” 


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For further information and interview requests, please contact Tim Watkin on 0401 721 064 or at [email protected]