Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Agency for International Development (Indonesian AID), has sent vaccine assistance comprising 10 million bOPV (bivalent oral polio vaccine) doses to Afghanistan.

The assistance was sent off by Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi and Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati from Soekarno Hatta Airport, Tangerang, Banten, on Thursday.

Marsudi, in a written statement, said that the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan has not yet started to improve.

She cited UN World Food Programme (WFP) data, which has estimated that 23.7 million Afghans are in need of humanitarian assistance.

The inadequate health situation in the country has left people vulnerable to infectious diseases. Afghanistan is also one of a number of countries in the world that are categorized as polio-endemic.

"Amid this situation, of course, we must help. This is also based on the request from the Afghanistan side to be able to donate polio vaccines," she informed.

She further said that Indonesia is one of the most advanced countries in terms of polio vaccine production as the country has produced and exported the vaccines to many countries.

The minister added that the provision of the polio vaccine produced by state-owned pharmaceutical holding PT Bio Farma is part of Indonesia's commitment to Afghans.

Minister Marsudi also expressed gratitude for all parties that have cooperated in the provision of the assistance, including UNICEF, which will support the delivery and distribution of the vaccine doses.

"Once again, Indonesia shows that we are ready to contribute to (tackling) humanitarian issues. Indonesia continues to be committed to supporting the people of Afghanistan," she highlighted.

Meanwhile, Minister Indrawati said that the vaccine assistance is a form of concrete support for Afghanistan's vaccination program, which will cover 3.3 million children aged under three.

She added that Indonesian AID was established with the spirit of solidarity with fellow developing countries and commitment to global targets, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

"During its four years of operation, this institution has provided development cooperation donations worth Rp356.58 billion (around US$22.80 million) to 49 friendly countries, including Palestine, Ukraine, Myanmar, Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea, and Fiji," she informed.

Related news: Indonesia to send 10 million polio vaccine doses to Afghanistan
Related news: Polio vaccine side effects milder than disease: IDAI
Related news: Bio Farma prioritizes meeting domestic polio vaccine needs

Translator: Yashinta Difa, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
Copyright © ANTARA 2024