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Indonesia Earthquake

Volume 447: debated on Monday 5 June 2006

On the morning of 27 May at 5.54 am, Indonesians living on the island of Java suffered an earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale. The epicentre was near the southern coast of the island, approximately 37 kilometres south of Yogyakarta.

Initial estimates by the Government of Indonesia are that some 6,000 people were killed. More than 45,000 people have been injured and some 140,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed, leaving at least 200,000 people displaced.

DFID's Humanitarian Response Team was immediately made aware of the earthquake and began collecting information and assessing the need for assistance. The Government of Indonesia confirmed that it was taking responsibility for the national response and overall co-ordination and it did not appeal for international assistance. However it made it clear that offers of assistance would be welcome. I immediately announced £1 million in support of the International Federation for the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and £3 million in support of the United Nations agencies. UK search and rescue teams were put on standby but were not needed, with search and rescue being carried out by local survivors and Indonesian rescue teams. A two person assessment team from DFID deployed to Indonesia on 28 May and based themselves in Yogyakarta from where they carried out assessments and met with partner organizations. The team is now in Jakarta and will return to London by the end of this week.

On Friday 2 June, I announced another £1 million to go to NGOs working on the ground in Java, bringing DFID's total commitment to the relief effort to £5 million. This will contribute to health and shelter, and help people to restore their livelihoods. We are also contributing some €600,000 as the UK's share of €3 million from the EC.

The Indonesian and international relief effort is well under way. The Indonesian Government have pledged $115 million, including $10 million for emergency response and $105 million for rehabilitation and reconstruction. The UN issued its Emergency Response Plan on 2 June, detailing its planned activities for the next six months.

With the support of DFID and other donors, national and international relief bodies working in Java are able to cope with the relief needs. As the need for longer term rehabilitation and reconstruction funds becomes clearer, DFID will be looking to see where it can provide further support. We will also continue to monitor volcanic activity on Mount Merapi, which was of concern prior to the earthquake.

Further information on the emergency response can be found on DFID's website at: www.dfid.gov.uk.