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Introduction to Indonesia  

With a population of 275 million people, Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world and claims Southeast Asia’s largest economy. Indonesia has rich culture, scenery and landmarks, comprising over 17,500 islands, 100 active volcanoes, and 600 ethnic groups. 

Due to its proximity to the equator and the Indian and Pacific oceans, Indonesia is extremely prone to natural disasters including earthquakes, floods, landslides, and volcanic eruptions. Namely, the earthquake in West Sulawesi in January 2021 devastated thousands of communities. This earthquake left 94,500 people displaced, 1,000 people injured and over 24,000 homes and public buildings damaged. 

For many households, water sources are distant, contaminated or expensive, and household sanitation is unaffordable. Lack of access to water, sanitation, and food is worsened by political instability in the Papua and West Papua provinces, where 37,000 people are displaced and in need of protection, shelter, food, health assistance, and other essentials.

Why do the people of Indonesia need your support?  

For people across Indonesia, life is incredibly challenging:

  • 9.8% of the population is living below the national poverty line (Asian Development Bank, 2020)
  • 19.4 million people are unable to meet their dietary requirements (WFP)
  • In 2020, 6.5 million people suffered from personal damages or were evacuated due to natural disasters occurring in Indonesia (Statista Research Department, 2021) 
  • About 18 million Indonesians lack safe water and 20 million lack access to improved sanitation facilities (

Islamic Relief in Indonesia  

Islamic Relief started its work in Indonesia in 2000, shortly establishing a main office in Jakarta and running operations in West Sumatra, Nusa Tenggara Barat, and Aceh provinces. We provide emergency response, WASH assistance, and livelihood development and support in Indonesia. 

In response to various natural disasters, like the earthquake in West Sulawesi, we provide non-food item kits, temporary shelter, medical treatment, and educational support. Our development projects consist of cash programming, disaster risk reduction, entrepreneurship, and management training. 

Currently, our Gender Sensitive Low Carbon Development and Climate Resilience project aims to encourage the participation of women and people of low socioeconomic status in a government led climate change program in the Nusa Tenggara Barat province. The project includes agroforestry activities such as planting 300,000 trees, applying circular economy of waste management, and taking part in microfinance training. 

Islamic Relief Canada’s most recent development project aimed to build climate resilience in disaster prone communities. Our work in the Bima and Dompu districts included conducting 9 village risk analyses, establishing community disaster risk management teams, installing evacuation routes, microfinancing women-led cooperatives, and packing emergency bags consisting of boots, first aid kits, and shovels. 

As the world becomes more vulnerable to climate change and climate induced weather events, it is important that our work with local communities reflects this new reality. That’s why our work in Indonesia addresses immediate and long term needs, so we can help disaster prone and vulnerable Indonesians build climate resilient lives.

Your donations in action  

Derliana is a 38 year old woman and mother of 3 children. She lost her home to the 2021 West Sulawesi earthquake and lived in a small tent, provided by Islamic Relief Canada, with her family. Alongside temporary shelter support, Derliana received sanitation and food assistance to meet her essential needs. 

Derliana joined the cash for work women-led team as part of our Earthquake response to generate income while she and her family looked to rebuild their home. She received training and safety equipment in order to be equipped with the knowledge and tools to safely conduct work in her community. 

Her work through this program also helped to clear up debris and build temporary shelters and latrines in her neighbourhood, further supporting her community to cope with the aftermath of the earthquake. 

Derliana states, 

“If Islamic Relief weren't here to help us, we'd be really overwhelmed. They provided us tents, food, and economic opportunities to support us as we look to find a new normal in the face of disaster.”

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