Direct Relief International today committed an initial $100,000 in cash and $500,000 in medical material to assist victims of the devastating 6.3 magnitude earthquake that hit Indonesia on May 27.
“This is an initial cash commitment from our existing resources to respond to the severe medical needs of the people who have been injured and displaced,” said Direct Relief President and CEO Thomas Tighe.
“We are committing these funds regardless of how much money we may receive,” said Tighe. “If we receive more, we will increase our commitment.”
Direct Relief has been coordinating with colleague U.S.-based international groups with staff members in Indonesia, with partner companies, and with the National Chairman of Muhammadiyah, Indonesia’s largest civic organization whose hospital in the quake affected area is already overwhelmed with victims.
Direct Relief has received detailed needs lists from four organizations and is preparing a series of emergency medical air shipments based on these specific requests.
Corporate partner companies Abbott Laboratories, GlaxoSmithKline, and Johnson & Johnson have authorized Direct Relief to allocate to the Java quake relief effort products they have previously donated and are in the organization’s inventory.
The initial cash commitment will be used to provide emergency cash assistance to Muhammadiyah and potentially to other organizations providing emergency urgent medical and support services to the quake victims and for transport of requested medical material.
Direct Relief emergency coordinator, Brett Williams, an emergency medical technician (EMT), is traveling to Java to expedite material aid plans and logistics to the affected region. He will be working with U.S. physicians associated with Australian Aid International, coordinating with Dr. Markus and Muhammadiyah staff members, and other groups providing assistance.
In response to a series of natural disasters and health emergencies over the past year and a half, beginning with the tsunami that struck South Asia in December 2004, Direct Relief has been called upon to provide emergency medical aid to degree unprecedented in its 58-year history.
“We are deeply saddened by the extensive loss of life and we will stretch to provide whatever resources we can to assist the people who have survived this tragedy,” said Tighe.
Over the past 19 months, Direct Relief International has furnished over $13.8 million in medical aid and cash assistance to tsunami-affected areas in Indonesia.