Jakarta (ANTARA) - Agriculture Minister Andi Amra Sulaiman personally handed out cash aid to orphans and victims of the floods and landslides that struck some regions in South Sulawesi Province.

"This cash aid of Rp10 million (US$622) per person is expected to relieve the burden of our brothers in the province," he remarked while meeting with orphans and disaster-hit people in Makassar on May 10, as cited from his ministry's statement received here on Saturday.

Sulaiman spoke of also planning to distribute agricultural equipment and material assistance worth Rp6 billion (US$373.5 thousand) to aid the restoration of disaster-affected agricultural areas.

"We must take immediate measures once a disaster occurs since these people are our brothers and sisters. Our team has started assessing the impacts on the agriculture sector. We will deliver free fertilizers and free tractors to those affected by the disasters," he revealed.

The minister then expressed his keenness to pay a visit to the affected regions. He remarked that President Joko Widodo had tasked him with visiting all provinces to push for the acceleration of the planting period and ensure sufficient food supply in the country.

Related news: Government sends 40 tons rice to disaster-hit people in South Sulawesi

Furthermore, he called on all parties to step up synergy and prioritize their brotherhood bonds in order to take part in the restoration of affected areas.

"I regard these disasters as a test for all of us. Will this test encourage us to help one another? We must help each other in order to reach the heavens," he stated.

Floods and landslides struck seven districts in South Sulawesi Province, resulting in at least 15 casualties, with 13 of them being residents of Luwu District.

A total of 210 people in Latimojong Sub-district of Luwu have been evacuated to safety.

Related news: South Sulawesi: Kin of flood, landslide victims given aid

Translator: Muhammad H, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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