Government's aid packages distributed to retired soldiers in Bekasi

Government's aid packages distributed to retired soldiers in Bekasi

Social Affairs Minister Juliari Batubara on Tuesday (June 16, 2020) handed over the government's aid packages to the households of retired Indonesian soldiers in Bekasi, West Java. (ANTARA/Katriana)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Social Affairs Minister Juliari Batubara disbursed the government's aid packages to households of retired Indonesian soldiers that were deployed to defend East Timor in a bid to assuage their sufferings amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"A great nation has never forgotten its heroes and heroines," Batubara told journalists shortly after handing out the government's aid relief packages to retired soldiers at the Seroja housing complex in North Bekasi on Tuesday.

The objective behind distributing the aid packages containing basic necessities, including rice, cooking oil, canned fish and meat, and instant noodles was not only aimed at helping the affected households to ease their sufferings but also to deepen communal bonds.

"These aid packages from the Indonesian president are only part of our efforts to strengthen our 'silaturrahim' (communal bonds) to further strengthen our unity," he remarked, adding that the government was keen to ensure that the state was present for the people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The COVID-19 pandemic that initially hit the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019 and then spread throughout most of the world, including Indonesia, is a huge crisis in human history.

Taking into account its confounding impact on public health and socio-economic sectors, the Indonesian government has also encouraged companies, embassies, and community members to assist those reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak.

To this end, the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, distributed relief packages containing staple food items, including rice, cooking oil, canned food, biscuits, and instant noodles, to Indonesians in April and May.

State-owned contractor PT Wijaya Karya (WIKA) has also allocated corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds totaling Rp3.14 billion to be disbursed to assist frontline medical workers at hospitals along with community members.

The CSR funds were channeled to provide crucial items, including hazmat suits, face masks, and medical equipment, to several hospitals in Jakarta to fight the novel coronavirus disease, WIKA corporate secretary Mahendra Vijaya stated.

Jakarta's National Brain Center Hospital, Columbia Hospital in Pulomas, Pondok Kopi Islamic Hospital, and Fatmawati Public Hospital were among the recipients of the aid, Vijaya noted in a press statement received by ANTARA in Jakarta recently.

WIKA along with other state-owned enterprises helped fund the operations of a public kitchen in the Utan Kayu neighborhood of Matraman, East Jakarta, in providing daily meals to those in need, he pointed out.

The moves by WIKA and the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra resonate with calls for mutual cooperation, voiced earlier by President Joko Widodo.

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