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Floods in Jakarta: Children need help now


Days of torrential rain on the Indonesian island of Java and the resulting heavy flooding have left many thousands of children in urgent need of aid. Gregor Nitihardjo, National Director of SOS Children’s Villages in Indonesia, has reported that many of the affected children are already suffering from various diseases due to unhygienic conditions, a lack of drinking water, and a shortage of food. SOS Children is distributing aid parcels and warm meals.

“The needs of these children are not being fulfilled properly. We are already seeing children developing skin diseases due to wet clothing and unhygienic conditions. The children need nutritious food and clean water,” said Gregor Nitihardjo, currently on location in Jakarta.

The SOS Youth Home, Jakarta - now under water following the floods

SOS Children has been preparing and distributing emergency parcels for families in the worst-affected eastern areas of Jakarta since Sunday. These parcels include food such as bread and biscuits, as well as milk and children’s clothing. A group of co-workers from the SOS Children’s Villages in Lembang has travelled to Jakarta in order to help with the distribution.

The charity is also running a public kitchen in Jakarta, where warm meals are being prepared and distributed to families who were forced to leave their homes. So far, some 500 families have received food from the kitchen.

“We will continue preparing warm meals and distributing aid parcels to these vulnerable families for as long as is necessary,” said Gregor Nitihardjo, adding that distribution is difficult due to the large area which has been flooded.

The organisation’s children’s village in Jakarta, which is situated on higher ground on the outskirts of the city, has not been affected by the devastating floods which have left an estimated 75% of the city under water. However, the SOS Youth Centre in the centre of Jakarta has been flooded and all of the youths residing there have been moved to the children’s village.

“The children are always the first and weakest victims of natural disasters - we have seen this time and time again” said Mr Nitihardjo.

Relevant Countries: Indonesia.

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