New Zealand Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia

New Zealand’s Head of Global Division for Development Aid Visits Communities Affected by Volcanic Eruption

Taufik ST. MT, Cecile Hillyer, Asih Kushartat ST.MT., and Heru Saptono S,TP at Temporary Shelter for Merapi’s eruption affected communities in Cangkringan, Sleman,Yogyakarta, 31 October 2011

New Zealand’s support of disaster preparedness interventions in Indonesia was highlighted during New Zealand’s Head of Global Division for Development Aid, Cecile Hillyer, recent visit to Sleman, Yogyakarta.

Before visiting the temporary shelter of Sleman communities affected by Mount Merapi’s eruption in late October 2010, Mrs Cecile Hillyer had the opportunity to meet with Sleman Regional Secretary Mr Sunartono, MKes.

Mr Sunartono explained how important New Zealand’s support was to the communities around Mount Merapi.

New Zealand’s support includes a community training programme, the community-based communication system and the installation of an early warning system prior to Mount Merapi’s volcanic eruption.

The programmes, and early warning system, were an effective and important role in alerting affected communities to the danger and provided them with the necessary skills to respond quickly and appropriately, said Mr Sunartono.

Indonesia is located in the Pacific "Ring of Fire" region of high volcanic activity, and has many similarities with New Zealand in terms of geological structure and the types of natural hazards to manage. For the past five years, Indonesia has had to deal with several natural disasters.

Supporting Indonesia with its disaster risk management plan and strategy, and contributing to Indonesia’s sustainable economic development, disaster risk reduction and management, has been a priority for the current Indonesia - New Zealand bilateral development programme.

New Zealand commitment to enhance Indonesia's disaster risk mitigation sector has been translated into several contributions worth NZ$20 million (2006 - 2011). This amount is the largest humanitarian assistance ever committed by the New Zealand Aid Programme worldwide. The contribution was given through several channels, including: the Construction of Classroom and Library of Muhammadiyah University in Aceh, Mentawai Tsunami Emergency Response, Indonesia Multi Donor Trust Fund Facility for Disaster Recovery of Mentawai and Merapi (IMDFF-DR), Local Government Training for Capacity Building in Disaster Risk Management by University of Gadjah Mada and GNS Science, Natural Disaster Management of Kabupaten Sleman, and grant contribution to the affected population of the 2010 Mt Merapi eruption.

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