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Brussels, 28 May 2006

European Commission outlines details of its relief funding for victims of the Indonesia earthquake

Health, shelter and logistics are key components in the European Commission's fast track humanitarian aid decision formally adopted today following the earthquake in Java, Indonesia, which implements the €3m of aid announced on 27 May. With reports of up to 20,000 people injured and 200,000 displaced, vital initial needs include medical aid to treat the wounded and temporary accommodation for those who have lost their homes. Support is also available for transporting humanitarian aid, and for the provision of safe water and household items. In calling for international assistance, Indonesia has triggered the EU's mechanism for civil protection, which is sending two experts to the earthquake site.

Louis Michel, the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid underlined the importance of providing aid swiftly through the Commission’s partner agencies working on the ground. “This event happened in a highly populated area and many people are suffering. By fast-tracking our support, we aim to ease the pain as far as possible. It is a concrete example of European solidarity in action.”

The funds, managed by the Commission's Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO), are being channelled through experienced partners including the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

Indonesia has called for international assistance and by doing so has triggered the EU's mechanism for civil protection. The Commissioner responsible, Stavros Dimas, said "Now that the mechanism has been activated, the EU is providing co-ordinated emergency assistance to the Yogyakarta. This mobilisation of European solidarity hopes to bring relief to the suffering in Indonesia." Member States are considering what assistance can be deployed through the mechanism. The Commission's disaster Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) remains in contact with the Indonesian authorities and member states, and is sending two experts on site.

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