Saturday, 23rd September 2017

Indonesia to send more aid to Rohingyas: President

13th September 2017 | 1.769 Views
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo said here on Wednesday that Indonesia would provide more aid for the Rohingyas in Myanmar.

"God willing, we will ship more aid next week and because we heard that they are badly in need of food, medicines, and tents," he said, at a meeting with around 40 Islamic clerics from Central Java at the state palace.

Earlier in the day, Widodo saw off the first shipment of more than 20 tons of food supplies as a humanitarian aid for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

The aid was delivered by Air Force Hercules C130 from Jakartas Halim Perdanakusuma airbase.

"The government had actually asked the Myanmar government about the concrete condition (of the refugees). From Jan to Feb, we have sent, if I am not mistaken, around 10 containers of food and medical supplies," he stated.

Widodo has also sent Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi to urge the Myanmar government to prioritize the fate of the refugees.

" The problem is very complex as it is connected with political history and economic affairs," he remarked.

Widodo explained that Indonesia must be grateful that it has been given access by the Myanmar and Bangladeshi governments to the location of the refugees.

"We have already built a school in Rakhine, and God willing, we will build a hospital, which will be the biggest hospital there. Condemnation or strong protests will not solve problems," he revealed.

He added that Indonesia is the only country that has been given access by the Myanmar government to distribute aid.

"Thank God, the Indonesia government has been given access and so it can enter the location. We still wish to send more aid there," he stated.

The aid supplies that Indonesia sent from Jan to Feb were delivered by sea, and it took weeks to arrive there.

"Hence, this morning we did through Hercules. We delivered them directly to the location of refugees, although it would take six to seven hours from the airport as access to the Myanmar-Bangladesh border is difficult to reach. Since it took two to three weeks using containers, , today we sent them by plane," he explained.

The plane would transit in Aceh, which has been made as the base camp, before proceeding to Chitagong, Bangladesh.(*)