Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture (PMK) Muhadjir Effendy affirmed that the distribution process of food aid to famine-affected people in Yahukimo District, Highland Papua Province, has been going as planned.

"So far, we have not seen any obstacles. Moreover, the aid distribution carried out during food shortages in Agandugume, Lambewi, and Konawe, also went well," the minister remarked after attending a talk show titled "Youths' Voices Determine the Nation's Fate" in Jakarta on Monday.

Effendy said his ministry will soon conduct a first-hand inspection in Yahukimo District to oversee and ensure the smooth running of the aid distribution to the region.

He noted that technical ministries that coordinate with the PMK Ministry, such as the Social Affairs Ministry and Health Ministry, had commenced operations to distribute assistance to Yahukimo District.

However, the minister noted that his side had not been able to confirm the number of deaths caused by the famine disaster currently hitting the district.

"We will initially confirm whether residents died from famine or other causes. Hence, we cannot yet stipulate how many people have died from famine," he pointed out.

To overcome issues related to food shortages in Indonesia's Papua region, he said, the government will build food warehouses at several locations, starting from Sinak and Agandugume in Puncak District, Central Papua Province.

"There will be a small warehouse in Agandugume. As for Sinak, we will build a big warehouse that will serve as a hub for the distribution of food to several other regions," he stated.

Earlier, some 23 people reportedly died due to famine striking Amuma, Yahukimo District, Highland Papua. The famine disaster is allegedly triggered by crop failures induced by extreme weather experienced by the area.

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Translator: Sanya Dinda, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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