Relief effort for Java quake lagging

first_imgRelief agencies across Los Angeles scrambled Tuesday to aid survivors left homeless by the weekend temblor in Indonesia that killed more than 5,400. But some say the Memorial Day holiday – and donor fatigue after disasters from the Indian Ocean tsunami to Hurricane Katrina – might have hampered donations. “I think they have charity fatigue,” said Richard Walden, president and chief executive officer of Operation USA of Culver City, which got fewer than 20 donations related to the Java earthquake. “None of (us) are getting blitzed with donations. We can’t start rebuilding lives and villages without private help.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Living in rice fields and makeshift shacks, more than 200,000 homeless survivors of Saturday’s 6.3-magnitude earthquake begged for food and water under a blazing sun as the official death toll rose to 5,427, The Associated Press reported. Compounding the disaster were fears that nearby Mount Merapi could soon erupt. On Tuesday, Burbank-based Islamic Relief teamed with the Mormon church to send $1.6 million worth of emergency supplies to the hard-hit region around Yogyakarta, the center of Saturday’s quake. A Boeing 747 cargo plane left Salt Lake City with 200,000 pounds of medical and other supplies. Islamic Relief has allocated nearly $1 million for quake-related emergencies and aims to raise an additional $3.7 million for victims of the disaster. But officials say donations have lagged after the tsunami, hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the African food crisis and the Pakistani earthquake. “Donor fatigue has affected some people, but donations are coming in,” said Islamic Relief spokesman Mostafa Mahboob from Salt Lake City. “The need is always great.” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which has partnered with Islamic Relief, reported steady donations from church members. “Isn’t it great that Mormons and Muslims can work together,” said Garry R. Flake, director of humanitarian and emergency response for the Mormon church. “Our church leaders stress that this is humanitarian relief regardless of race or religion. It’s incredible.” The American Red Cross pledged an initial $219,000 to the Java relief effort. Also, the agency has sent relief workers from Washington, D.C., and tsunami-stricken areas. Nonetheless, Red Cross spokesman Michael Oko said contributions were “slightly less than we expected.” In Woodland Hills, the Rev. Adinata Biworo of Gereja Bethel Indonesia of Los Angeles appealed to his congregation for aid. The 100 members of the Indonesian-American Christian congregation raised $11,000 for tsunami relief and $13,000 for Hurricane Katrina aid. Biworo hoped to raise an additional $10,000 to help the mostly Muslim victims of the central Java quake. “We must do anything we can to help, no matter their race or religion,” said Biworo, whose wife’s family lives in Yogyakarta but were unaffected by the quake. “It is very important for us to support them. A lot of people still suffer.” [email protected] (818) 713-3730160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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