REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA — The Indonesian government has sent more than 20 tons of food as humanitarian aid for the Rohingya refugees residing in the border area of Bangladesh.
“Some 20 tons (of food) have been sent in the first batch. It is only rice, excluding sugar and other food (items),” Foreign Affairs Minister Retno L. P. Mursadi stated at the Halim Perdanakusuma Air Force Base in eastern Jakarta on Wednesday while accompanying President Joko Widodo to see off the dispatch of the assistance.
Indonesia has just sent relief aid comprising rice, instant food, family kits, emergency tents, water tanks, children’s clothing, and blankets, among other things, to Bangladesh, which has received more than 370 thousand Rohingya refugees on its border shared with Myanmar.
“We prioritize the dispatch of these goods, as they are badly needed now, including emergency tents, as shelters are a huge challenge facing the refugees,” she pointed out.
Four Hercules aircraft of the Indonesian Air Force transported the aid to Bangladesh.
The Indonesian Air Force is also ready to deploy more Hercules aircraft to carry humanitarian aid from Jakarta and Banda Aceh, Aceh Province, every day.
Banda Aceh has been designated as a transit base camp for dispatching humanitarian aid to Citagong Airport in Bangladesh.
Citagong is the nearest town to Cox’s Bazar town that has been accommodating Rohingya refugees fleeing Rakhine State, their home province in Myanmar. The distance between Citagong and Cox’s Bazar is around 170 kilometers.
The first dispatch comprised aid from the Indonesian government. However, the government has also received several offers from other parties to provide goods to Rohingya, and they might be dispatched next.
“We are receiving them and will dispatch them. Hence, synergy among the government, community, mass organizations, and regional governments, among others, is crucial. We dispatch it under one name – Indonesia,” she said.