By Rafiq Vayani
JAKARTA/DUBAI/KARACHI: The Government of Indonesia has joined the international community in providing humanitarian assistance for the flood victims in Pakistan. The President of Indonesia Joko Widodo today dispatched humanitarian assistance by two special aircrafts, in the form of packages of medicines, tents, clothes, blankets, sleeping bags, mosquito nets, and generators.
In his remarks, President Jokowi expressed deepest condolences on his personal behalf and also on behalf of the Indonesian people to Pakistani brothers on the loss of precious human lives caused by heavy floods and landslides. President Joko Widodo also pledged to provide humanitarian grant of USD 1 million and to send a medical team to Pakistan.
The Indonesian Humanitarian Assistance Team is led by the Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, Prof. Dr. Muhajir Effendi, along with the Chairperson of Commission 8 of the Indonesian House of Representatives Ashabul Kahfi, Head of Indonesian National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) Lt. Gen. Suharyanto and Director of South Asia at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and representatives from other relevant Ministries/Agencies.
The total Indonesian non-cash grant assistance to Pakistan is worth USD 1.2 Million and weighing around 90 tons. Currently, a need assessment is being carried
out at the flood affected areas in Pakistan by a team from Indonesian NDMA in close consultation with Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Cultural Affairs. Together, these institutions have taken several initiatives to raise humanitarian assistance to Pakistan from various segments in Indonesia’s community including from state enterprises, entrepreneurs and civil society.
On separate occasions, the Indonesian Embassy in Islamabad and the Indonesian Consulate General in Karachi have also taken the initiative to raise humanitarian aid in collaboration with Indonesian students and Indonesian diaspora in Pakistan. The aid worth 1.8 million PKR has been sent through the Pakistan Red Crescent Society. Besides, Indonesian volunteers from Dompet Dhuafa organization have also built two houses in one of the flooded areas in Sindh Province.
The flash floods in Pakistan have killed more than 1,600 people, and submerged one-third of Pakistan’s territory. Around 33 million people were affected by the monsoon floods which the UN Secretary-General called “climate carnage”, including 650,000 pregnant women. The flood damage was estimated at USD 30 billion that destroyed 2 million houses and damaged 23,900 schools, 1,460 health facilities and 13,000 km road network. More than two million hectares of agricultural land was also swept out by the floods while in some areas, the water inundation is still high and has not receded. The flood refugees are under threat of post-flood diseases such as dengue fever, malaria, and diarrhea.