"We ask the central government for social safety net funds until December 2011."
Sleman, Yogyakarta (ANTARA News) - The Sleman district government has requested for the disbursement of social safety net funds for the survivors of Mount Merapi`s eruptions until December 2011.

The request had been to the central government through the ministry of social affairs, Head of Sleman district, Sri Purnomo, said here Saturday.

"The Mount Merapi disaster victims, who remain at shelters need time to rebuild their lives by themselves. Therefore, we ask the central government for social safety net funds until December 2011," he said.

Speaking to journalists when joining Social Affairs Minister Salim Segaf Al Jufri`s visit to shelters for the Mount Merapi eruption survivors in Plosokerep village, Cangkringan subdistrict, he said each person needed only Rp5,000 per a day.

"We do hope that the social safety net fund is not only given for a month to enable the Mount Merapi disaster survivors currently staying at shelters could rebuild their life," he said.

In response to this demand, Social Affairs Minister Salim Segaf Al Jufri had yet to make a decision because he should consider what was left the ministry`s budget.

"We are going to consider the proposal. If it is possible and the budget is still available, we will provide the money," he said.

He said his ministry is still paying serious attention to the fate of the volcanic eruption survivors. During the emergency response period, all of their needs were the government`s responsibility.

"This emergency response period was extended in every two weeks by considering the real condition. At that time, all refugees` needs were fulfilled by the government," he said.

The district government noted that 680 families or 1,965 survivors of the Mount Merapi eruptions had received the government-sponsored social safety net funds.

Mount Merapi had erupted repeatedly last year but its most fatal eruptions occurred on October 26 and November 5, 2010.

As a result of the eruptions, at least 259 people had perished and many others sustained burns and became displaced.

Mount Merapi, on the border between two provinces, lies geographically close to Yogyakarta but is officially part of Central Java.

Besides killing and injuring several hundred people, eruptions had also damaged 867 hectares of forested land on the volcano`s slopes in Sleman District, Yogyakarta, with material losses estimated at Rp33 billion.

The damaged forests included the Merapi National Park, community forests and local people`s plantations.

Mount Merapi is one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia, which had been erupting several times since 1548.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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