Indonesia Welcomes Post-Tsunami Reconstruction Aid

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon chats with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono during the opening reception of the G-20 summit in Toronto, Canada, on June 26, 2010. Yudhoyono said his country would welcome reconstruction aid for tsunami-ravaged Mentawai Islands. Photo by: Mark Garten / United Nations

The Indonesian government said it will accept foreign aid for reconstruction efforts in the aftermath of the tsunami that devastated the Mentawai Islands in West Sumatra but stressed that it will spearhead relief operations.

“I welcome [foreign] help for reconstruction. But Indonesia will handle the relief efforts on our own,” Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said as quoted by the Jakarta Post.

Yudhoyono explained that it is part of Indonesia’s policy to handle disasters and emergencies using its own resources whenever possible.

Indonesia did not seek any foreign assistance in the immediate aftermath of the tsunami and the eruption of the country’s most active volcano early last week. Despite this, the European Union and other donors offered immediate relief assistance and promised longer-term reconstruction aid.

>> Despite Twin Disasters, Indonesia Sees No Need for Foreign Aid YetStill awaiting assistance

The death toll for the tsunami has reached at least 430, according to latest figures released by the local officials, media agencies say.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian government and its partner organizations are still experiencing difficulties reaching tsunami survivors.

“It is so difficult to get to these people,” Andrew Judge of SurfAid International said according to IRIN.

SurfAid International is helping Indonesia and the U.N. coordinate relief operations acorss the Mentawai Islands.

Judge explained that bad weather is delaying the delivery of food, tents, medicines and other relief supplies to remote communities that are only accessible by boat, IRIN says.

About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.