Indonesia launches US$2 million Hasco program for Rakhine State

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Foreign Minister Retno L. P. Marsudi has launched the Humanitarian Assistance for Sustainable Community (Hasco) program, initiated by the Humanitarian Alliance of Indonesia for Myanmar (AKIM), for the Rohingya minority community in Rakhine State.

The humanitarian aid worth US$2 million donated by Indonesians will be channeled into a two-year series of social programs for education, health, livelihood, and post-conflict recovery.

"We hope this assistance would be sustainable and inclusive as well as empower the community in Rakhine State," the minister stated at the launch of the Hasco program in Jakarta on Thursday.

According to Marsudi, the humanitarian aid collected by 11 non-governmental organizations of AKIM demonstrates strong synergy between the government and Indonesian people in the face of the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar.

The minister claimed that the assistance not only came from Islamic humanitarian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) but also from institutions of other religious beliefs.

Muhamad Ali Yusuf, AKIMs chief executive, said he had been working with the authorities in Rakhine to grant permission for access to the region, while the local NGOs will facilitate the implementation of the program.

"This assistance program is inclusive and targets the entire community living in Rakhine, regardless of ethnic or religious backgrounds," he noted.

Humanitarian assistance from AKIM will add to Indonesias contribution to help realize economic growth and security as well as to ensure a harmonious life for the people of Rakhine State.

Indonesia has been assisting Rakhine in the construction of four schools for the Muslim and Buddhist communities since 2014, the distribution of 10 containers of food and clothing launched by Indonesian President Joko Widodo in December 2016, and the construction of two schools in Sittwe in 2017.

Furthermore, with the support of the Medical Emergency Rescue Committee, Indonesian Buddhists Association, and humanitarian organization PKPU, Indonesia will build a hospital in Rakhine State.

According to Minister Marsudi, the permission and design phases for building the hospital are complete, and the construction process will start this October.

"We are involving a local company and the community in the construction process in order to drive the economy in Rakhine State," she pointed out.(*)

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