Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Social Affairs is providing social protection to 385 Indonesians who arrived from Sudan, which is currently witnessing internal conflict, on Friday.

Before returning to their respective homes, the first batch of arrivals from Sudan, consisting of children and adults (248 women and 137 men), will receive evacuation services and social protection from the ministry.

"The ministry has prepared optimal services at the evacuation and protection cluster for Indonesian citizens from Sudan, ranging from logistical needs to food," the ministry's director of social protection for non-natural disaster victims (PSKBNA), Mira Riyati, said in Jakarta on Friday.

Indonesian nationals arrived from Sudan at Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Cengkareng on Friday on a Garuda Indonesia flight (number GA991). The ministry will provide services to Indonesians arriving from Sudan in three groups, with the first group of 385 people arriving on April 28, 2023, the second group on April 30, and the third group on May 1, she disclosed.

According to her, the ministry has prepared several assistances in the form of kidswear, clothing and underclothing for adult men and women, children's educational toys, toiletries, and rice boxes with the total assistance valued at Rp1,114,770.000, she said. Psychosocial support services will be provided to them for five days from April 28–May 2, she added.

"Upon their arrival in Indonesia, the Indonesian citizens will be taken to Pondok Gede Hajj Dormitory in East Jakarta for a health check, antigen test, fulfillment of basic logistical needs, and temporary accommodation before returning to their respective areas," Riyati said.

In addition, the Pondok Gede Hajj Dormitory will prepare three towers, one each for accommodating families, single men, and single women, she informed. One additional building will be prepared for those who are sick, she added.

"Moreover, the ministry has prepared seven psychologists to provide psychosocial support services, one tent for children's play areas, and one other tent for the Health Post from the Ministry of Health," she said.

Sarniah, 31, one of the Indonesians who arrived on Friday, said the central government promptly carried out the repatriation in view of the worsening armed conflict between the Sudanese military and the Rapid Support Force (RSF) Militia in Khartoum on April 15, 2023.

"I stayed in Sudan for eight years. There are bombs and wars over there. Thank God, we could return to Indonesia. Thank you, Social Affairs Ministry for providing logistical assistance as well," she added.

The Indonesian government has activated two clusters for emergency response, namely the health cluster coordinated by the Ministry of Health through the Crisis Center and the refugee and protection cluster coordinated by the Ministry of Social Affairs with the support of non-governmental organizations, Riyati said.

The process of repatriating Indonesian citizens from Sudan is planned through two scenarios, first, through independent repatriation where they will be picked up by their families, and second, with the help of the local government.

The repatriation of Indonesian citizens from Sudan to their respective regions is a form of collaboration between the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Religious Affairs, and National Police.

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Translator: Devi Nindy S R, Resinta S
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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