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EU scales up humanitarian assistance to victims of Lombok earthquakes

Thousands of buildings are believed to be damaged by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck Lombok on Sunday 5 August 2018 just before 7pm local time. Falling debris from buildings injured hundreds. © Indonesian Red Cross

The EU has announced a further €500 000 to step up its emergency response to meet the most pressing needs of those affected by the devastating earthquakes that struck the Indonesian island of Lombok in late July and early August. The latest allocation comes in addition to the initial €150 000 delivered earlier in August, thus bringing the EU's contribution to €650 000.

The EU humanitarian funding will complement the Indonesian government response and focus on the most vulnerable groups and communities in the affected area. The EU aid will support the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in providing relief assistance and protection to the most vulnerable among the affected population. It will directly benefit 80 000 vulnerable people in some of the worst hit localities in northeast and west Lombok districts. The aid will also assist the IFRC in reuniting families that were separated by the earthquakes.

“We stand by the Indonesian people affected by the recent earthquakes in Lombok", said EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides. "This additional contribution will provide crucial support to those in need and ensure that the most vulnerable among the affected people have enough means to cope through this difficult time.” 

As of 13 August, at least 390 people were killed and more than 1300 injured when two major earthquakes of magnitude 6.4 and 6.9 respectively hit the popular Indonesian resort island over the course of one week. The tremors ravaged more than 67 000 homes, leaving over 300 000 people displaced. There has been extensive damage to a number of public facilities and major infrastructures, such as health facilities, power supply lines, and main roads, which are causing constraints to accessing some of the affected areas.

The EU funding comes from the European Commission’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) using the Acute Large Emergency Response Tool (ALERT), which aims to respond to the immediate needs of the most vulnerable in the hours and days after a sudden-onset large-scale emergency or a new humanitarian crisis.

In addition, the Netherlands and Spain have provided €500 000 and €100 000 respectively which brings the collective EU support to €1 250 000. The Indonesian Red Cross Society (PMI) is the beneficiary of the funds that have been channelled through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

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