The Jakarta Post | World | Wed, November 13 2013, 9:58 AMLending a hand: Coordinating People’s Welfare Minister Agung Laksono (left) gives a US$1 million check to Philippine
Ambassador to Indonesia Maria Rosario C. Aguinaldo during a ceremony that saw the Indonesian government officially give aid to victims of the super Typhoon Haiyan, in Jakarta on Tuesday. Indonesia donated $2 million to victims of the disaster. (AFP/Adek Berry)
Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa has called on all nations, particularly Asian and European ones at the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), to provide concrete action rather than just expressing sympathy to help the victims of a super typhoon that recently hit the Philippines, killing thousands and displacing millions.
Marty made the appeal during an address to the 11th ASEM Foreign Ministers Meeting in Gurgaon, India, which took place on Monday and Tuesday.
“Indonesia is urging ASEM member states to take concrete action to help the Philippines, our fellow ASEM member, which has been devastated by the Haiyan typhoon. This is in line with an agreement made by ASEM to support wider coordination and collaboration in disaster relief efforts. The Indonesian government has prepared humanitarian aid to meet the needs expressed by the Philippine government,” Marty said during Tuesday’s first session.
Salman Khurshid, India’s external affairs minister, also referred to the disaster when he made his opening speech on Monday.
“I would like to express my deep sympathy for and solidarity with the people of the Philippines, especially those affected by the recent typhoon. I believe you all join me in expressing our concern and solidarity,” he said.
Coordinating People’s Welfare Minister Agung Laksono previously said that Indonesia had disbursed aid worth US$2 million — $1 million worth in goods and $1 million in cash — to the Philippine Embassy in Jakarta.
“Indonesia realizes that the Philippines, Indonesia’s friend and fellow ASEAN member, is in a dire situation and suffering greatly due to the disaster. We will continue to maintain coordination with the Philippines to determine what they need,” Agung said.
Chairman of the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) and former vice president, Jusuf Kalla, who was in Sydney, Australia, on Monday, said the PMI and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) would carry out a joint operation to help the victims.
Kalla said he planned to visit the affected areas himself to lead the distribution effort.
The PMI aid includes 1,000 tons of rice, 1,000 boxes of instant noodles, two makeshift hospitals and medical staff, two helicopters, two amphibian vehicles, water and sanitation equipment, thousands of mother and baby hygiene kits and dozens of volunteers.
Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), said the agency had coordinated with the Indonesian Military (TNI) to dispatch the military’s Hercules C-130s to help transport aid to the Philippines.
The BNPB has also deployed its rapid response team to the affected areas.
Meanwhile, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders’ emergency coordinator in the Philippines, Dr. Natasha Reyes, said the organization’s initial focus would be on the province of Leyte, which was hit first as the typhoon made landfall.
“We know that many medical facilities have been destroyed or damaged, while much medical equipment simply washed away. On top of this, a lot of health staff are unaccounted for, meaning our resources are severely depleted,” she said in a press release sent to The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.