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Restrictions placed on Gift of the Givers, other aid organisations in Indonesia

A team of South African volunteers has arrived in the city of Palu which is one of the worst affected after a devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

Members of Gift of the Givers South Africa arrived in Indonesia following a deadly earthquake and tsunami. Picture: Ziyanda Ngcobo/EWN

PALU - Disaster response organisation Gift of the Givers will not be permitted to operate in Indonesia due to restrictions placed on all foreign aid by the army.

A team of South African volunteers has arrived in the city of Palu, which is one of the worst affected after a devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

The death toll has risen to over 1,700.

At least 5,000 people are still missing and Indonesian authorities have given themselves until Thursday before declaring them dead.

The national disaster management authority has issued a new set of stricter rules on how international aid organisations should operate in the country.

No foreign NGOs are allowed to go directly to the field and conduct any activity on the sites affected by the disaster
Foreign volunteers must also be monitored at all times.

Gift of the Givers team leader Ahmed Bham says they have managed to partner with a local NGO.

“The local NGO called PPA, they’re the NGO that is registered here. They will do distribution and maybe medical services.”

The restrictions placed by the Indonesian government mean that only humanitarian aid can be provided. The medical and search and rescue volunteers from South Africa will be limited in their response.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)