The IMC's new director of international ops, Ellen Agler, wrote in transit to Indonesia:
The International Medical Corps (IMC US & IMC UK) has been working in Indonesia for a number of years, with a staff of almost 80 people rehabilitating hospitals, training medical professionals, and implementing programs to improve the health status of vulnerable populations in the poorest and most remote parts of Indonesia. IMC also has quite a history of disaster response in Indonesia. They provided services during the aftermath of the Bali discotheque bombing a couple of years ago as well as with the Jakarta bombing earlier this year. As part of these projects, they trained many medical personnel and government officials in disaster management. From initial conversations I have had with our team in Indonesia, many of those that IMC trained in disaster preparedness are now playing critical roles in the response to the Aceh crisis.
If you are at all inclined to support humanitarian efforts to deal with the aftermath of the Asia tsunami, I can attest that the IMC programs in Indonesia will be managed by a competent team and deliver top-notch emergency medical care. And I will be there to send reports from the front line on who is being helped and how. There have been announcements in the last day of funding promised by various governments – from the US to Australia and the European Union. I will certainly be negotiating in Jakarta to see if IMC can access some of this funding for our response efforts. Unfortunately though, government funding typically is not disseminated very rapidly, and the onus is on humanitarian agencies is to raise the money needed for the immediate rapid response assessment phase from private donors. While IMC does run over $40 million of programs every year (over $80 million if count in-kind donations), almost all of their money is tied up, legally restricted to existing projects.
I am worried that unless we raise the money needed immediately – at least $50,000 just for the Indonesia rapid response – we will not be able to be an effective force in alleviating suffering and saving lives in the coming weeks. We are also discussing sending teams quickly to Thailand and Sri Lanka, and this will only be possible with additional private funds.
If you have anything from a few extra dollars to even a few thousand extra dollars to spare, whatever your situation, I think this will one of those absolutely clear and unquestionable times in life when your donation is absolutely needed and will most certainly help to save lives."