The Directorate General for Development Cooperation (DGCS) has arranged an emergency humanitarian flight in response to the earthquake which struck the island of Sumatra on 30 September. The flight was organised at the instructions of Foreign Minister Franco Frattini and in concert with the Italian Red Cross, Civil Protection and NGOs belonging to the AGIRE (Italian Emergency Response Agency) network.
The flight, with two DGCS officials on board, left the UNHRD depot in Brindisi on the afternoon of 16 October, headed for Padang via Kuala Lumpur. It was carrying over 87 tons of humanitarian material provided by Italian Cooperation, the Italian Red Cross and Intersos, an NGO, in an operation amounting to 975,000 euros. The supplies provided include blankets, family-size tents, cooking equipment, plastic sheeting, drinking water containers, electricity generators, water filters, hygiene materials and energy biscuits. The plane was also carrying 4 Italian Red Cross containers with the equipment needed to set up a base camp in support of victim assistance and the work of the Indonesian Red Cross’s volunteers.
The humanitarian supplies will be delivered to the Italian Embassy in Jakarta for local distribution by Indonesia’s National Coordination Disaster Management Agency (BNPB).
In addition to the presence of an Italian Red Cross team comprising logistical personnel and nursing volunteers, the active involvement of Italian NGOs operating locally is also envisaged. In agreement with the Indonesian authorities, they will help distribute the supplies starting on the afternoon of Saturday 17 October.