Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi witnessed the signing of the Grant Aid Agreement to Myanmar distributed through the ASEAN Secretariat.
The document was signed by the Director General of Financing and Risk Management at the Indonesian Ministry of Finance, Luky Alfirman and ASEAN Deputy Secretary General for Community and Corporate Affairs, R.M. Michael Tene in Jakarta on Friday (20/12), according to the Indonesian Foreign Ministry’s website as quoted by Indonesia Window here on Sunday.
At the 35th ASEAN Summit in November 2019, the Government of Indonesia stated that it was ready and supported the resolution of the Rakhine State issue.
The grant is a concrete manifestation of Indonesia’s commitment to support the work of the Ad-Hoc Support Team in facilitating the voluntary, safe and dignified repatriation of refugees.
“Under the agreement, the Government of the Republic of Indonesia will provide seven billion and five hundred million rupiahs to the Government of Myanmar which is distributed and managed by the ASEAN Secretariat through the Ad-Hoc Support Team,” Foreign Minister Retno said.
The grant is expected to support the Ad-Hoc Support Team in facilitating the implementation of the Preliminary Needs Assessment (PNA) recommendations, creating dialogue and communication, as well as creating mutual trust between the parties concerned.
“ASEAN has no other choice, ASEAN must work hard collectively to resolve this challenge, continue the relevance of ASEAN for regional security and peace and ensure ASEAN’s contribution to the welfare of its people,” said the foreign minister.
The grant is the first one given to Myanmar by the ASEAN member countries outside the bilateral framework.
The grant assistance is also part of Indonesia’s plan in 2019. Previously, Indonesia has also provided several grants to other countries in the Asia Pacific region, such as Fiji, Nauru, Tuvalu and Solomon Islands with a value of 14.8 million US dollars (1 US dollar = 13,966.78 rupiahs).
Previously, Indonesia had completed the construction of a hospital in Mrauk U, Rakhine State and was handed over through bilateral channels to the Government of Myanmar.
In addition to opening access to health, the hospital is expected to serve as a means of reconciliation process for the whole community in Rakhine State.
Reporting by Indonesia Window