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. VP wants quake relief delivered monthly, not daily

Photo courtesy of AFP.
by Staff Writers
Jakarta (AFP) Jun 1, 2006
Indonesian Vice President Yusuf Kalla said Thursday that food aid in the quake zone should be delivered once a month, not on a daily basis, to ease logistical difficulties with the relief effort.

"We said it should not be distributed daily, but should be given for one month," Kalla said in Yogyakarta, the main city in the quake zone, after a meeting with the heads of the provincial disaster management centres.

"That way, the government will only have to work once a month," he was quoted by Antara as saying, adding that villagers would be asked to stand in front of their house -- or its ruins -- to receive a month's supply of rice.

Each family of four would receive 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of rice per month, he said.

Kalla arrived in the quake zone earlier Thursday to oversee relief efforts. He toured the area by helicopter, visited hospitals, and was to spend at least one night at the scene of Saturday's natural catastrophe.

The vice president, who oversaw relief efforts in devastated Aceh province after the 2004 tsunami, said the government would distribute tents for individual families, rather than build shelter camps.

The food aid would then be distributed to these family tents, not at the village halls, he added.

Kalla said all efforts should be made to complete the emergency relief phase in the quake zone within a month, so that long-term rehabilitation work could begin.

"It should not exceed one month. If necessary, it should be completed in two weeks, so that we can enter the rehabilitation phase which will need more energy," Kalla said.

Saturday's 6.3-magnitude earthquake caused widespread destruction and killed at least 6,200 people.

Related Links

Indonesia quake toll soars as hospitals strained
Bantul, Indonesia (AFP) Jun 1, 2006
The number of casualties from the Indonesian quake soared Thursday as the United Nations said hospitals were overcrowded and still lacked basic supplies to treat the mass of injured.

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