Tsunami victims in Indonesia to get rice aid from gov't

Indonesian Social Services Minister Bachtiar Chamsyah said on Tuesday that the government had prepared 200 tons of rice for tsunami victims in West Java province's southern coastal regions.

"The rice assistance will be extended step by step, considering that not all people in the areas experienced house damage in the disaster," the minister said this when he was visiting the disaster location in Pangandaran, Ciamis district, West Java province.

The minister said the humanitarian assistance will be extended by the Social Services Ministry through the task force coordinating unit (Satkorlak) for overcoming the disaster impact.

Responding to question whether the tsunami in the southern coastal regions of West Java province was to be declared a national disaster, the minister said that whatever the classification, the government will always help the victims.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Siti Fadillah Supari said that actually there were a number of foreign countries offering to help the disaster victims.

"But we don't want to ask for foreign aid every time when a natural disaster occurred although they will always help without our asking for it," she said, adding that the main priority at the moment was how to help survivors of the tsunami disaster.

"We will also provide them with medicines and medical crews. At the moment, there is a medical team from Bandung, capital of West Java province and Central Java province," she said.

Source: Xinhua

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