Tuesday, 23rd September 2014

RI committed to helping Somalia overcome famine

Kamis, 8 September 2011 15:55 WIB | 1.368 Views
RI committed to helping  Somalia overcome famine
Salim Segaf Al Jufri. (ANTARA/Widodo S. Jusuf)
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government is committed to giving humanitarian aid to overcome Somalia`s famine problem caused by a prolonged drought, an official said.

"Indonesia is committed to giving aid to Somalia. The Social Affairs Ministry has agreed to provide aid for Somalia , along with a number of Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs)," Social Affairs Minister Salim Segaf Al-Jufri said here Thursday.

The minister was concerned about conditions in Somalia where 13 toddlers die every day due to starvation.

"During the past three months, at least 30,000 people died due to starvation in the East African country," the minister said.

The aid-giving action would be taken as Indonesia`s commitment to eradicating poverty in the world, the minister said.

"Some of the NGOs were reported to have managed to raise funds to the tune of 20 billion rupiah for Somalia. We will see how much we, the government, can give," the minister said.

Although the government was cooperating with the NGOs, its humanitarian aid would be given to Somalia on behalf of Indonesia, not the private sector, he said.

The NGOs in the joint operation consist of those who are experts in fund raising, logistics, and also medic.

According to Minister Al-Jufri, it would need more than a year to overcome the famine in Somalia.

A number of institutions such as Dompet Dhuafa, Rumah Zakat, Baznas, PKPU, Fast Response Action (ACT), and the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) declared their readiness to give aid to Somalia.

"ACT is to raise funds for Somalia again," President of Fast Response Action (ACT) Ahyudin said .

According to the United Nations, famine in southern Somalia would continue to spread, although international aid kept arriving in the country.

Half of the total population of Somalia, or around 1.85 million people, was suffering from starvation.

Somalia had since the middle of last year been calling on the international community to help it overcome the prolonged famine in the country.
(T.SDP-04/HAJM/O001)