BANDA ACEH – Chairman of the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) Muhammad Jusuf Kalla said Aceh province serves as a world laboratory for the handling of natural disasters and humanitarian issues, Antara news agency reported.
“Aceh is a good place not only for Indonesia but also for the rest of the world to study ways of handling humanitarian issues and natural disasters,” he told tens of volunteers from throughout Aceh province on Wednesday.
Aceh bore the brunt of a magnitude-8.9 undersea earthquake and subsequent tsunami on December 26, 2004 which killed more than 200,000 people.
Aceh was also ravaged by a protracted armed conflict between government troops and Free Aceh Movement (GAM) separatists during President Soeharto’s administration.
Kalla said Aceh managed to handle humanitarian issues properly thereby it had become a good place for the rest of the world to study ways of handling humanitarian issues.
“Of all regions in the world, only Aceh serves as a good place to study how to handle massive disasters,” he said.
Kalla asked other regions in the country to learn from Aceh how to handle tsunami.
Kalla was Indonesian vice president when the deadly tsunami devastated Aceh on Dec 26, 2004.