ASIA/INDONESIA - Jesuit Refugee Service helps with reconstruction in Aceh

Tuesday, 15 March 2005

Aceh (Fides Service) - After months of first emergency humanitarian aid immediately after the tsunami disaster in December last year, the local Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) working Aceh manned by volunteers, is now helping with reconstruction of homes and resettling displaced persons. JRS workers try to help people in the most remote areas, far from towns, affected by the tragedy but difficult to reach and where people, who have lost everything, have to help themselves.
The JRS was present in Aceh long before the December 2004 seaquake disaster and good relations already established with civil authorities, humanitarian organisations and other NGOs and with the local people facilitated its efforts consisting mainly of distributing food, water, tents and medicine.
At Lamrabu refugee camp, half an hour from the capital Aceh, the JRS teams provide daily medical care for more than 600 people. A member of the team told Fides: “These poor people are still shaken, they need to be encouraged and we try to restore their hope. Besides material assistance, which is not enough, we offer psychological and moral counselling. We must help them find new energy and the will to rebuild their lives”.
At this stage, in collaboration with village chiefs and many families of refugees, JRS is involved in reconstruction of homes and programmes to resume farming and fishing, supplying equipment to the fishermen.
(PA)(Agenzia Fides 15/3/2005 righe 21 parole 235)