Caritas Australia sends aid team to devastated Meulaboh
Caritas Australia sent an aid team into the Indonesian city of Meulaboh last Thursday to personally assess the devastation in the area in which much of the population was reported to have been killed by the tsunami. On Friday, urgent funds were directed to the devastated city.
Jamie Isbister, Programs Manager with Caritas Australia, flew into Meulaboh with a team from Jesuit Refugee Services to see first hand how Caritas, the Catholic agency for aid and development, can begin assisting the stricken community.
Caritas Australia National Director Jack de Groot said the agency would focus much of its Indonesian relief effort in Meulaboh.
"Nobody knows exactly how many people have been killed in Meulaboh, but there are reports that at least 10,000 lives have been lost and many thousands have been displaced," Mr de Groot said.
"All roads to the area have been cut off and as a result it is almost completely isolated from the aid effort underway in surrounding areas of Indonesia.
"Caritas Australia will focus its Indonesian relief effort on this devastated community. Our team on the ground today have begun identifying what needs to be done, both immediately and for the long term rehabilitation of Meulaboh."
Mr de Groot said $200,000 of funds raised through the Catholic relief agency's Asia Earthquake Appeal was being sent to Meulaboh where Caritas would focus its relief efforts. Caritas Australia has already committed another $150,000 to Indonesia as well as $500,000 to Sri Lanka and $350,000 to India.
Mr de Groot said the Caritas Australia Asia Earthquake Appeal continued to receive generous support from the Australian community. The appeal has now reached $3 million, with more to come through appeals being held in Catholic parishes around the nation.
Urgent funds on their way to devastated Meulaboh (Caritas Australia 7/1/05)
Caritas Australia sends aid team to devastated Meulaboh (Caritas Australia 6/1/05)
Caritas Australia Asian Eathquake/Tsunami Appeal
Inter-faith prayer for tsunami victims in Phuket (CathNews 7/1/05
Heart-wrenching greeting for Aussie Aid Workers (CathNews 7/1/05)
Pope joins Europe's mourning for tsunami victims (CathNews 6/1/05)
Stronger faith builds in the wake of disaster (CathNews 6/1/05)
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Bishop denounces Asian adoption profiteers (CathNews 5/1/05)
Pope praises human solidarity after tsunami tragedy (CathNews 4/1/05)
Australian Church sends prayers and support to tsunami victims (CathNews 4/1/05)
Indonesia warns aid workers (National Nine News 10/1/05)
India tsunami survivours stage silent procession to remember dead (Yahoo News 8/1/05)
Thai Catholics start reconstruction after the tsunami (AsiaNews 7/1/05)
500 tsunami victims set to lose their shelter (NewIndPress 10/1/05)
10 Jan 2005