Sorong, W Papua (ANTARA) - Indonesian army personnel are building eight livable houses for poor households in Kamlin village of Wemak sub-district, Sorong district, West Papua province, a senior official has informed.

Commander of the XVIII/Kasuari Regional Military Command, Major General I Nyoman Cantiasa, on Wednesday visited the village to observe the implementation of this year's Integrated Soldiers to Develop Villages (TMMD) community service program.

The housing construction project is part of the 110th TMMD community service program in West Papua. Through the program, the army is supporting the government's endeavors to improve social welfare in many regions, including those in Kamlin village, officials said.

During his visit, Cantiasa thanked Kamlin villagers for their support and participation in the 110th TMMD program.

This year, the army could just build eight homes as the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a reduction in state funds, including for the TMMD program, he said.

"In the future, there will be a large-scale TMMD community service program that will help more community members enjoy an equitable distribution of wealth," he added.

During his visit, Cantiasa also distributed staple food packages to villagers along with school supplies and volleyballs to primary school students.

He also donated a guitar to the villagers for church activities.

ANTARA has earlier reported that Indonesian soldiers in Papua and West Papua have been multitasking to support the government’s efforts to address the issue of disparities in the development of the two provinces compared to other Indonesian provinces.

To this end, soldiers deployed in the two eastern provinces have been mandated to be responsive in seeking solutions to problems and challenges faced by Papuan communities in their daily lives.

This is in addition to their central task of defending the country's territorial integrity and guarding the safety of all Indonesians.

Sharing land and sea borders with Papua New Guinea (PNG), Papua and West Papua's geopolitical and geostrategic positions are indubitably important for Indonesia's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The development of human resources in Papua and West Papua remains a tricky challenge, as the Human Development Index scores of these provinces remain lower than other provinces in Indonesia.

Papua and West Papua scored 64.7 and 60.84 respectively on Indonesia's 2019 Human Development Index.

The literacy-related community services offered by Indonesian soldiers over the past several years have contributed notably to the regional and central government's endeavors to improve the quality of human capital in Papua and West Papua. (INE)

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Translator: Ernes BK, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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