February 5 2007
Jakarta floods: Children in need of immediate aid
(5 February 2007) - Children in the areas affected by the heavy flooding in Jakarta are in urgent need of aid. The director of SOS Children's Villages in Indonesia reports many children are already suffering from various diseases due to unhygienic conditions, a lack of drinking water, and a shortage of food. SOS Children's Villages is distributing aid parcels and warm meals.
"The needs of the children are not being fulfilled properly. We are already seeing children developing skin diseases due to wet clothing and unhygienic conditions. The children need nutritious food and clean water," said Gregor Nitihardjo, director of SOS Children's Villages in Indonesia, who is on location in Jakarta.
SOS Children's Villages in Indonesia has been preparing and handing out emergency parcels for families in the worst-affected eastern areas of Jakarta since Sunday. These parcels include food such as bread and biscuits, as well as milk and children's clothing. A group of co-workers from the SOS Children's Villages in Lembang have travelled to Jakarta in order to help with the distribution.
In addition, SOS Children's Villages in Jakarta is operating a public kitchen which is preparing and distributing warm meals for families who were forced to leave their homes. So far, some 500 families have received these warm meals.
"We will continue preparing warm meals for these families and we will continue distributing aid parcels for as long as is necessary," said Gregor Nitihardjo, adding that distribution is difficult due to the large area which has been flooded.
The organisation's children's village in Jakarta, which is situated on higher ground on the outskirts of the city in the Cibubur neighbourhood, has not been affected by the devastating floods which have left an estimated 75% of the city under water. However, the SOS Youth Centre in the centre of Jakarta has been flooded and all of the youths residing there have been moved to the children's village.
"The children are always the first and weakest victims of natural disasters - we have seen this time and time again," said Gregor Nitihardjo.
SOS Children's Villages began working in Indonesia in 1972. Today, the organisation operates five children's villages, five youth facilities, five SOS Kindergartens, one school, one vocational centre, and two social centres in Indonesia. In addition, SOS Children's Villages is helping victims of the tsunami through an emergency relief programme.
International Press Officer
Tel: +43 1 368 2457 - 2185