EU ambassadors visit Palu to express solidarity

EU ambassadors visit Palu to express solidarity

(REUTERS/Henry Nicholls)

Jakarta, Oct 20 (ANTARA News) - A delegation of European Union (EU) Heads of Mission visited Palu in Central Sulawesi on Friday to express solidarity with the affected population and support the Indonesian reconstruction efforts.

They also had a first-hand insight on the EU assets deployed for relief operations under the EU Civil Protection (EUCP) Mechanism, according to a statement received here on Friday.

The delegation was composed of EU Ambassador/Head of the EU Delegation to Indonesia Vincent Gu?rend, Ambassador of Austria Helene Steinhaeusl, Ambassador of Italy Vittorio Sandalli, Ambassador of France Jean-Charles Berthonnet, Ambassador of Denmark Rasmus Abildgaard Kristensen, and Peter Schoof, Ambassador-designate of Germany.

The ambassadors went to the Joint Operations Coordination Centre for International Assistance and met with the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Secretary General, Dody Ruswandi.

They were also briefed by representatives of the Integrated Joint Task Command Centre, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre), the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) and the European Civil Protection Mechanism.

The ambassadors witnessed the magnitude of the devastation in Petobo, an area affected by soil liquefaction, the Tinggede area in Sigi and Palu.

They saw how the French and Danish water installation site operates and discussed with the staff manning them.

The EU Civil Protection (EUCP) Mechanism was activated following an official request for assistance from the Indonesian government.

The mechanism channels EU Member States` offers of assistance to the Indonesian authorities. It also co-finances EU Member States efforts.

As of 17 October, the offers from eight EU Member States have been accepted namely Denmark with Water purification module (including 8 staff) and power generators; France with Water purification module (including 40 staff) and power generators; Germany 43 power generators; Italy with 100 family tents, 5 diesel generators, 200 mosquito nets, 1 water purification unit.

In addition an Emergency Response Shelter Unit accommodating up to 600 PMI/IFRC staff with all associated equipment including 10 power generators from Austria, 255 tents (Spain); 12 family tents (Slovakia); 1728 shelters and 2400 water purification kits (the United Kingdom).

As of Friday, the total collective EU aid amounts to more than 18 million Euro. Appeals in the Netherlands and the UK have raised over 24 million Euro.

Editing by Sri Haryati