UN seeks $50.5 million for ‘immediate’ Indonesia disaster aid

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The United Nations said Friday it is seeking $50.5 million “for immediate relief” to help victims of the devastating quake and tsunami in Indonesia.

The UN plan, developed in consultation with Indonesian government officials, outlines “how the humanitarian community working in the country will provide targeted, technical assistance.”

More than 1,500 people died in last week’s quake-tsunami, and local officials said Friday that more than a thousand people could still be missing.

Hardest-hit was Palu city on Sulawesi island, which was left in ruins after it was struck by a powerful quake and a wall of water that reduced whole neighborhoods to piles of wood and twisted metal.

The UN plan aims to provide help to 191,000 people over the next three months, the statement said.

According to UN estimates, 65,000 homes have suffered some form of damage, a figure that includes 10,000 homes “completely destroyed by the tsunami” and 15,000 homes severely damaged by the earthquake.

“One week after the disaster, the full scale of the disaster and the needs are becoming clear,” said Anita Nirody, the UN Resident Coordinator in Indonesia.

“Affected people, especially those who have lost their homes and all their belongings, require shelter, access to clean water, healthcare and psychosocial support.”

The requested funding “will allow the international humanitarian community to more effectively support the response of the government and local organizations,” she said.