UNHCR dispatches over 1,300 emergency tents for families displaced by Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami
The UN refugee agency also calls for funds to aid survivors of the disaster
(Hong Kong, 19 October 2018) A 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck the central island of Sulawesi, Indonesia, followed by a tsunami in a nearby coastal city, Palu on 28 September 2018. Due to severe destruction caused by this disaster and its aftershocks, the number of affected people is on the rise, which has increased the daily demand for humanitarian aid. As of 15 October, 2,100 people have died, about 5,000 are seriously injured, and 680 are still missing. About 79,000 people are displaced in 141 sites, and cannot return home as over 68,000 houses are destroyed or damaged. UNHCR today urges Hong Kong people to assist in fundraising efforts to aid people in urgent need of assistance in Indonesia.
Given the scale and scope of this emergency, information is still emerging. Communication lines in affected areas are down, and infrastructure, including roads and airports, have been severely damaged. People urgently require shelter, clean water, food, fuel, emergency medical care and psychosocial support.
Acting in solidarity with the people of Indonesia , UNHCR has been working around the clock to provide emergency assistance to the survivors of this devastating natural disaster. Over 1,300 emergency tents for families displaced by the disaster have now been dispatched. This initial relief will help provide much-needed shelter to around 6,500 of the most vulnerable people impacted by the earthquake and tsunami. In the meantime, UNHCR has been preparing to airlift further aid to those in need, including more emergency tents and core relief items such as sleeping mats, mosquito nets and solar lamps.
Hong Kong people are urged to show their support towards people in desperate need in Indonesia by making a donation at the UNHCR official website .
UNHCR tents being shipped to Indonesia. Photo credits to UNHCR/Muhammad Assad.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was established on 14 December 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and coordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee issues. It strives to ensure that everyone has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another state, with the option to voluntarily return home when conditions are conducive for return, integrate locally or resettle to a third country. Emergency preparedness and response are important parts of UNHCR’s work. Core relief items from UNHCR can be released within 48 hours for around 600,000 people. Within 72 hours, UNHCR emergency standby teams and roster members can be deployed to manage and coordinate a response. UNHCR has twice won the Nobel Peace Prize, in 1954 for its ground-breaking work in helping the refugees of Europe, and in 1981 for its worldwide assistance to refugees.