Blunting the Impact of Natural Disasters in Indonesia
On Dec. 26, 2004, a devastating earthquake shook
Indonesia, releasing energy that scientists estimate to be as strong as 23,000
Hiroshima-type atomic bombs. The earthquake's strength caused a series of
powerful ocean waves to strike Indonesia, creating what some experts consider
the most destructive tsunami in history. In total, more than 150,000 people were
killed or missing after the natural disaster, while countless more Indonesians
were left homeless.
In the Hands of Mother Nature
The Indian Ocean tsunami
of 2004 brought to light Indonesia's consistent struggle with natural disasters.
of the Southeast Asian archipelago are susceptible to cyclones, droughts,
earthquakes, floods, landslides and volcanoes, according to the Earth Institute
at Columbia University. In fact, between 1907 and 2004, about 235 of these
natural disasters struck Indonesia, killing approximately 55,418 people and
affecting countless more.
The southern and western
islands of Indonesia, including Java and Sumatra, are at the highest risk of
natural disasters; however, across all islands, it is frequently the most
impoverished families who bear the brunt. Approximately 27 percent of
Indonesians live below the poverty line, and when natural disasters strike, they
tend to suffer the most. Without resources to recover and rebuild, it is easy
for mothers and fathers to lose hope that they will be able to provide for their
families and emerge from poverty.
When natural disasters
strike, ChildFund strives to
provide support and assistance. In Indonesia in particular, we have
responded to natural disasters like the 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake, the 2008
Padang earthquake and the 2010 Mt. Merapi volcanic eruption.
During these times of
crisis, one of our major goals is to ensure the health and well-being of the
area's children. After natural disasters, such as those in Indonesia, we
establish child protection programs that provide children with food and hygiene
kits, and we set up Child Centered Spaces to give these children a safe,
actively supports the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency
Response Project, a regional activity that helps nations like Indonesia, the
Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia prepare for natural disasters. In Indonesia,
this involves reviewing the nation's policies and regulations on disaster
management, creating a network with other agencies to develop stronger disaster
risk reduction techniques, and resources mapping of all stakeholders in the
country's disaster risk reduction efforts.
To help us in our
mission to keep Indonesians safe and healthy after natural disasters, please
consider making a donation to our ChildAlert
Emergency Fund. With your support, we can lend a helping hand to children
and families when they need it most.