The earthquake and the tsunami that ensued struck on 28 September. On announcing the Flemish aid for the island, Mr Bourgeois who is also responsible for Flanders’ external affairs and development aid policy told journalists that “According to an official UN report almost 200,000 people are in need of urgent humanitarian aid. By making this contribution we are responding an urgent call to assist the victims of this tragedy”.
The money will go to the 12-12 consortium that is made up of 7 humanitarian aid NGOs: Caritas International, Red Cross Flanders, Handicap International, Doctors of the World, Oxfam Solidarity, Plan International Belgium and UNICEF Belgium. They have started aid programmes on the island offering assistance in the fields of medicine, sanitation, psychosocial help, drinking water and the protection of vulnerable groups such as children.