How do aid workers reach those in need amidst difficult conditions in Indonesia?

Benjamin Suomela / Suomen Punainen Risti
Suomen Punaisen Ristin avustustyöntekijät Tuomas Laibert ja Olle Kaidro pakkaavat tarvikkeita lennolle.
Image: Benjamin Suomela / Suomen Punainen Risti

The joint logistics unit of the Finnish and Danish Red Cross organisations left Copenhagen for the disaster area in Indonesia today.

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After earthquakes and a tsunami hit the Sulawesi region, more than 70,000 people have been forced to leave their homes. Thousands have been killed or injured.
 
Roads, bridges and other infrastructure have also been destroyed in the disaster, which makes it harder for aid workers to reach those in need. 
 
This is where experts in aid work logistics come in.
 

A self-sufficient unit

The Red Cross logistics unit takes 5–6 loading pallets of supplies with it. The unit is entirely self-sufficient.
 
The supplies include accommodation supplies, tents, camp beds, office supplies, a generator, a hundred bags of dry food, computers and satellite phones. 
 
Since the distances may be long, the team has also packed bicycles to help them move around. 
 
(The article continues after the video)
 
Drone video from the village of Petobo: The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
 

Mobilising aid

Aid supplies need to reach the victims of the disaster as smoothly as possible.
 
The basic purpose of the logistics unit is to organise and document the arrival, storage and deliveries of the supplies. 
 
The Red Cross workers need assistance, so local volunteers are also trained to help with logistics.
 

Experience and professionalism

“I’m always anxious before going on an assignment, even though I have already developed a routine. I have a strong desire to get out there and help people,” says Tuomas Laibert, a Red Cross aid worker.
 
Laibert has seen many aid operations, including the one after the tsunami in Thailand in 2004.
 
“I believe the city of Palu will look the same as Phuket did back then.” Even though the Indonesian Red Cross Society has already begun local aid operations, they also need international assistance. 
 
“The people’s stories are tragic. They need to rebuild their lives from scratch after losing their homes, and possibly some of their family members. The most important thing is that we can help people together,” Laibert says
 
Are you interested in aid work? Read about how you can join us.
 
 
 

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