Indonesia sends aid to Vanuatu
Posted by : Publication  Saturday, April 4th, 2015

Indonesia has sent US$2 million worth of humanitarian aid to Vanuatu, which was devastated and economically crippled by a massive tropical cyclone that hit the Pacific island nation in March.

Foreign Minister Retno Lestari Priansari Marsudi dispatched on Saturday two cargo aircraft from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten. Marsudi was accompanied by National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) chief Syamsul Maarif and a number of members of House of Representatives' Commission VIII overseeing social affairs.
The two aircraft - a Garuda Indonesia Airbus A330-300 with a capacity of 35 tons and a Cardig Air Boeing 737 with a capacity of 15 tons -- would fly to the Vanuatuan capital of Port Villa, a statement from the Foreign Ministry said.
BNPB deputy for emergency response, Tri Budiarto, said that the $2 million aid consisted of $450,000 in cash and a variety of aid packages: 1,000 packages of food supplies, 6,000 packages of nutrition supplements and food, 6,000 packages of ready-to-eat food, 2,000 packages of biscuits, 149 carts of baby food, 333 carts of pregnancy food, 500 packages of children’s clothing, 7,500 blankets, 26 carts of solar cells and 200 family tents.
The aid will be handed over to Vanuatu climate change minister James Bule by Najib Riphat Kesoema, the Indonesian Ambassador to Australia, who is also accredited to Vanuatu.
A special team of 19 experts will also be sent to the nation of fewer than 300,000 residents to help the reconstruction and survivor-rehabilitation processes.
The team consists of personnel from the Office of the Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister, the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the Health Ministry, the Social Affairs Ministry, the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI), the Papua Provincial Disaster Management Agency (BPBD), the West Papua BPBD and Disaster Management Rapid Response Unit.
The Foreign Ministry added that Indonesia’s experience in handling natural disasters, such as the reconstruction and rehabilitation processes in Aceh after the 2004 tsunami, would be of great assistance for Vanuatu.
“The aid will also be a symbol of Indonesian commitment to strengthening bilateral relations with Vanuatu in terms of disaster mitigation,” the ministry said in the statement.
Cyclone Pam devastated Vanuatu in March, causing 11 deaths and extensive damage to the country’s infrastructure, including the severance of communication between the archipelago’s islands. Jakarta Post

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