Aid for new tsunami victims - Friday 17 July 2006

Working in close cooperation with Indonesian authorities, the United Nations World Food Program has rapidly responded to the immediate needs of persons affected by the 17 July earthquake and tsunami in West Java.

WFP is now delivering emergency food assistance to the victims and planning for a greater response as details and locations of the areas hardest hit by the tsunami are reported.

A UN rapid assessment team with WFP participation has reported the most severe damage in the Western Java Province, including over 400 homes and 63 hotels severely damaged, and extensive destruction in the district of Ciamis, which includes the hard-hit resort town of Pangandaran, roughly 450 km south of Jakarta. WFP teams, working in conjunction with a broader UN assessment team made up of representatives of UNICEF, OCHA, UNDP and WHO, continue to survey tsunami damaged-areas in Western Java.

Local Indonesian authorities report a total of 37,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the West Java province, although reports from the UN assessment team indicate that many of these people may quickly return to their homes. In Pandangaran, 16 IDP camps have been set up, as well as eight public kitchens managed by the local Red Cross and other NGOs. The WFP assessment team has visited five IDP camps.

Ian Matthews of UNity