Najib makes personal contribution to Merapi victims

YOGYAKARTA, Thursday 11 November 2010 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak has made a personal contribution worth Rp1 billion (RM347,000) to help alleviate the suffering of victims of the Merapi volcano disaster.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi handed over the contribution on Najib's behalf to Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X, Sultan Yogyakarta, who is also the governor of Yogyakarta province, here today.

The aid among others included infant milk, biscuits, blankets and sarongs and personal hygiene items.

Ahmad Zahid said Najib sympathised with the plight of the victims of the disaster, which has claimed 194 lives since the Merapi volcano started erupting on Oct 26.

"This is an initial aid, if more aid is needed, Malaysia is willing to assist," Zahid told reporters present.

Also present was Malaysia's Ambassador to Indonesia Datuk Syed Munshe Afdzaruddin Syed Hassan.

The disaster has also caused some 500,000 people living within a 20km radius of the volcano to be displaced, with most them now being sheltered in relief centres.

Ahmad Zahid also made a visit to operations centre of Indonesia's Disasters Management Authority here where he was given a briefing on the Merapi disaster by its head Dr Syamsul Maarif.

A group of 38 Malaysian medical students from Universiti Gadjah Mada (UGM) here are also assisting Yogyakarta's Hospital Sardjito in treating victims while 14 more are stationed at Hospital Cilacap and Hospital Banyumas in Central Java. (By AHMAD FUAD YAHYA/Bernama)

MySinchew 2010.11.12