Jakarta (ANTARA) - Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi stated that the Indonesian government will send 10 million polio vaccine doses to Afghanistan as a form of Indonesia's commitment to help the country in facing the polio endemic.

Along with Irish Foreign Minister Micheál Martin and Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly, Marsudi conveyed this statement at the High-level Side Event: Global Solidarity with Afghan Women and Girls and the Women's Forum on Afghanistan, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly Session in New York, the United States, on Tuesday (September 19).

During the meeting, she expressed Indonesia's commitment to helping the people of Afghanistan, especially Afghan women, who have lost their rights since the Taliban took over power in 2021.

According to the minister, global solidarity with Afghan women should be realized through concrete action.

Hence, Marsudi underscored the importance of providing assistance in the form of a polio vaccine, as the polio situation is considered as being an additional burden on Afghan women.

The minister remarked that the Indonesian government had earlier also sent humanitarian aid to Afghanistan last January to meet the food and nutritional needs.

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"Since Afghanistan is facing a polio endemic, we agreed to send 10 million doses of polio vaccine in collaboration with UNICEF. This vaccine is domestically produced by Biofarma," Marsudi remarked in a press briefing session broadcast on MoFA Indonesia's YouTube account.

The minister noted that the restrictions imposed by the Taliban, including prohibiting women from working in non-profit organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), such as the UN, hindered the humanitarian aid delivery to Afghanistan that usually involves women's work.

Apart from health assistance, the minister also highlighted Indonesia's commitment to helping the people in Afghanistan to access education.

Indonesia has provided scholarships and training to Afghan women, who do not have access to education due to Taliban restrictions, she remarked.

Another contribution is establishing communication and sharing knowledge between ulemas. She stated that Indonesia continues to strive to share best practices with Afghan ulemas regarding inclusive education for women.

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Translator: Shofi Ayudiana, Resinta S
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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