A shopping centre in Palu that has been destroyed by the earthquake. Picture: Sihle Mlambo

Palu - The Indonesian government has placed eight conditions for foreign non-profits wanting to assist with the search and rescue mission in Palu.

The conditions were amended on Sunday, on the day the 25 Gift of the Givers volunteers reached the city.

Ahmed Bahm, Gift of the Givers team leader, said the organisation would change focus to doing humanitarian work as they were not allowed to help with search and rescue.

“The team understands that when you enter into disaster zones you may need to adhere to certain rules and regulations. This is no different from any country, you have to fall within their best scope in terms of what they want to do for the disaster.

“The team understands that - they have all been on disasters before and things change, we will take it day by day,” he said.

The Gift of the Givers has partnered with a registered local NGO, the PPPA.

Video: Sihle Mlambo

The government conditions state that:

  • Foreign NGOs are not allowed to go directly to the field. All activities must be conducted in partnership with local partners.
  • Foreign citizens who are working with foreign NGOs are not allowed to conduct any activity on the sites affected by disasters.
  • Foreign NGOs who have already procured or prepared relief items in Indonesia need to register their assistance with the relevant ministry or agency mandated to work with local partners in distributing the aid.
  • If respective NGOs have not registered their assistance with the relevant ministry or agency, they are asked to register with BPNB for the distribution to the affected population on the field.
  • Foreign NGOs wishing to provide aid can do so through the Indonesian Red Cross with the guidance of the related ministries or agency or local partners.
  • Foreign NGOs who have deployed its foreign personnel are advised to retrieve their personnel immediately.
  • Monitoring of foreign volunteers is required.
  • The delivery of relief items is being coordinated temporarily through Makassar and Balikpapan.
* Cash contributions to assist the victims of the disaster can be deposited into Gift of the Givers, Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg, Account No. 052278611, Branch Code 057525.  Please send deposit slip to [email protected] for acknowledgement.  You can also donate online  here .

** Independent Media journalist Sihle Mlambo is in Indonesia with the Gift of the Givers team.