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9 Jan 2005





Temiar Web

Dear friends, supporters and funders:

On behalf of women and children of Aceh, Flower Aceh and Solidaritas Perempuan urgently appeal to you for assistance in meeting women’s and children’s needs in Aceh. Those of us involved in the relief work in Aceh have found that their needs are being overlooked by most of the aid organizations. These urgent needs include the following:

1. There is no attention whatsoever given to pregnant women. Some pregnant women have miscarried, others have given birth to premature babies, while others are carrying their pregnancies to term under conditions of severe deprivation. Those who are giving birth are doing so in unsanitary conditions, some in the open air even when it is raining and when earthquake aftershocks are still happening.

2. There is no support given for women who are caring for children, including mothers who are breastfeeding babies. The supplies of food and water that are being dispensed are distributed based on the needs of single adults. But a mother who gets a single-adult portion has to share it with her children. The needs of women caring for children are not being considered at all. Sometimes after a woman has shared what she has with her children, there is nothing left for her.

3. This lack of support for carers also extends to the shelters that have been set up. The mattress, sheets and blankets are distributed for single adults, without consideration of the fact that a mother with children is sharing her space with them. As a result, there are mothers sleeping on the bare earth, with no mattress, no sheet, no blanket, because their children are using these. When it rains, the ground is wet.

4. There are no clothes for the children. Many are going around naked, because their clothes were torn away by the tidal waves. The clothes that are now distributed are all adult clothes.

5. Most of the volunteers caring for the women and children in Aceh are women. But there is inadequate support for the relief work that we are doing for the women and children. For example, the needs assessment that is being undertaken by various aid agencies completely neglects the needs of women and children that we have mentioned above and also overlooks the work that we are doing to meet these needs. We are not recognized as a significant group of relief workers. We have no access to the donations that have been channeled to the Indonesian government.

We urgently need your help in the following ways:

  • Funds are needed for necessary items, such as babies’ and children’s clothing, bedding, food, women’s underwear, sanitary pads, food and medical supplies. These supplies will be obtained in Jakarta or Medan and brought to Aceh. To meet these needs immediately, please send your donations to this account:
  • Bank Account Number: 126-0002261096

    Bank Mandiri, Kalibata Branch, Jakarta, Indonesia

    Under the name of Salma Safitri and Mieke

  • Medical personnel with expertise in gynaecology, obstetrics and paediatrics, are encouraged to volunteer for a week or more in Aceh. Please contact the Women’s Crisis Centre in Banda Aceh at tel. +62-651-637531 or Solidaritas Perempuan, Jl. Jatipadang Raya, Gg. Wahid No: 64 Pasar Minggu, Jakarta 12540, Indonesia, tel. +62- 21-7826008, fax. +62-21-780 2529, email: soliper@centrin.net.id
  • If you are in contact with any organization undertaking relief work in Aceh, please forward them this urgent appeal to address women’s needs in Aceh.