In the first phase of the relief program, 80 aid packages containing staple food have been distributed to Indonesians from April 16 to April 22. The second phase would be carried out during the fasting month of Ramadhan, the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra revealed on Wednesday.
The aid program is aimed at helping Indonesians stay strong in the face of an uncertain future amid the Australian Government's plan to extend social restrictions for four more weeks as part of endeavors to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The imposition of the social restrictions has led to shutting of schools, restaurants, cafes, fitness centers, and many other public facilities. The situation has also affected the lives of community members, including those working in the service sector.
Those losing their jobs are trying to survive by relying on their savings or on assistance from their colleagues and families, the embassy revealed.
The aid program was initiated to help Indonesians who have lost heir jobs and students and their families.
The move by the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra resonates with calls for mutual cooperation echoed earlier by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi).
In a recent statement, President Jokowi highlighted the importance of fostering the spirit of "gotong royong", or mutual cooperation, arguing that the government cannot work alone to fight the spread of COVID-19.
"The entire nation's participation is indispensable," President Jokowi declared in a video statement from the Bogor Presidential Palace over the weekend.
“The caring-and-sharing movement must be made public. This is not aimed at showing off, but at keeping hope alive, and inspiring others to do the same good deeds,” he noted.
The coronavirus disease initially struck the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019. Since then, it has spread to at least 202 countries and territories, including Australia and Indonesia, with a massive spurt in death toll.
As of April 21, Australia has recorded 6,625 confirmed COVID-19 cases. While the death toll from the virus has touched 71, as many as 4,258 patients have been discharged from hospital post recovery.
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