More than £17 million has been raised across the UK to help survivors of the earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia – in just two weeks.
The emergency appeal was launched by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) on Thursday 4 October and more than £1.5 million of that amount has been raised in Scotland.
More than 2,000 people are now confirmed dead, more than 5,000 are feared missing and 200,000 survivors are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance following the powerful earthquake that struck the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on 28 September, triggering a terrifying tsunami and a trail of destruction.
Tens of thousands of homes have been destroyed and entire communities have been cut off from any contact for days. It is estimated that it could take five months to find all of the dead.
In two days the authorities will stop the search operation and anyone unaccounted will be presumed dead; this means that the actual death toll will never be truly known.
In a country where about 30 per cent of births are not recorded, entire families may have disappeared without trace.
Two areas particularly badly hit, Balaroa and Petobo will be designated as mass graves and left untouched.
From the moment disaster struck, DEC members have been providing Indonesian partners with vital support to scale up rapidly and save lives.
DEC member charities and their local partners are working closely with the Indonesian authorities to provide food, clean water, first aid and shelter, as well as helping survivors to cope with the traumatic experiences they’ve been through.
As the full scale of the disaster unfolds, they are ready to do even more, helping devastated communities rebuild their lives.
DEC Scotland Chair, Sally Foster Fulton said: “We are delighted and extremely grateful that people across Scotland have donated so quickly and generously.
“To the Scottish government for their generous donation of nearly £200,000, our supporters in the Scottish media, our corporate and public sector supporters and each and every one of our individual donors, we say a huge thank you.”
This money will now go to provide urgently needed food, clean water and sanitation, first aid and shelter.
In the longer term, survivors will also need all our support to help to rebuild their homes, communities and livelihoods.
The rainy season is due to start later this month and will almost certainly affect relief efforts, making the need for a quick response all the more urgent.
DEC is urging people to continue donating now by texting SUPPORT to 70000.
Texts cost £5 and the whole £5 goes to the DEC Indonesia Tsunami Appeal. You must be 16 or over and please ask the bill payer's permission. For full terms and conditions and more information go to www.dec.org.uk