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UN says Indonesia quake aid faster than post-tsunami

by Staff Writers
Jakarta (AFP) May 29, 2006
The UN's top emergency relief coordinator on Monday said he expected the aid effort after the Indonesia earthquake to be faster than that after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Jan Egeland said one important factor was that the quake zone on the archipelago nation's main island of Java was easier to reach than Aceh -- where Indonesia suffered most of its damage from the killer waves.

"This time I think it's going to be easier because Java is not as remote as Aceh," he said in an interview with CNN. "I think it will start quicker."

The tsunami relief effort was criticised after inappropriate supplies were flown in and bottlenecks hampered the delivery of emergency care, but Egeland played down fears of corruption in the immediate phase of the disaster relief.

"The problem is when we have major infrastructure rebuilding programs," he said, referring to long-term projects in future. "There is a limit to how much you can misuse a blanket."

His comments came as his UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs met with UN agencies in Geneva to discuss the relief effort.

Saturday's quake killed more than 5,100 people and left thousands injured in overcrowded hospitals. An estimated 200,000 people were left homeless.

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Hospitals, tents must be raced to Indonesia quake victims
Geneva (AFP) May 29, 2006
UN agencies, anxious to show their efficiency after criticism of the 2004 tsunami aid operation, called Monday for field hospitals, medicines and tents to be rushed to Indonesia's earthquake victims within three days.

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