News

    Indonesians in Desperate Need a Week After Earthquake

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Nancy-Amelia Collins

    Tens-of-thousands of refugees still are waiting for food, medicine and shelter, as relief efforts are being established in Indian Ocean countries devastated by last week's earthquake and tsunami. Some relief workers and refugees say the aid is taking too long to reach those who are most in need.

    International aid is pouring into Banda Aceh, the capital of Indonesia's Aceh province, where up to 100,000 people died in tsunami waves and an earthquake a week ago.

    Tens-of-thousands of those who survived the 10-meter waves have been left wandering the streets looking for food, medical aid and shelter.

    They have set up camps wherever they can find a small scrap of land. Some are sleeping by the sides of the road, placing scraps of plastic over their heads as shelter from the rain. Others camp out at mosques in this mostly Muslim-populated province.

    Talbani Farlin lost his home and his grandmother when the waves struck his home in Banda Aceh. A university professor, he is volunteering for a local Islamic organization which is giving aid to refugees and helping collect the thousands of corpses still littering the streets of the city.

    Mr. Talbani says logistical problems are hampering international aid efforts, so his charity group is delivering supplies. Similar local groups around the region also have taken on the task.

    "We need help from all international organizations, as well," he said. "Many people, [have] no father, no mothers, no grandfather, no food, no clothes, and the disease and many, many illnesses will be coming."

    Chief Warrant Officer Rick Trueblood arrived several-days ago in Banda Aceh with a U.S. military aid team. He says aid is being delivered around the clock, but acknowledges the process is slow.

    Warrant Officer Trueblood says workers unloaded 35,000 kilograms of supplies early Sunday, and made food drops by helicopter to areas that cannot be reached by road.

    "Right now, we are just now starting to really work together," he added. "And, the host country starts pulling us together, setting up their priorities, where they want the supplies and what support they want from us. Things will get a lot better."

    He says the U.S. helicopter crews have permission to pick up refugees found wandering in remote areas.

    "I think it has to be understood, it [the relief effort] is very much in its infancy, and it is a situation that nobody has ever really dealt with at this magnitude, this scale," said Steve Cook, of the International Organization for Migration in Indonesia, who says the challenges of delivering aid are many, from logistical support to washed out roads.

    Aid workers say, and refugees hope, that the process will speed up in the coming days.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora