TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - An asylum seeker from Afghanistan, Muhammad Ali (21), said that he did not have a destination yet after leaving the ex-Kodim building, Kalideres, West Jakarta. He and other refugees are obliged to move from the designated place per Saturday, August 31.
When met at the site on Friday, August 30, Ali said the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Indonesia provided each refugee with Rp1 million in cash.
“My name has not been called today. Perhaps, tomorrow after I get the fund, I’ll decide where to go,” Ali said, adding that he did not know whether the aid would be given every month or just one-time assistance.
“My friend says it will be provided for six months, but I have just heard it is for this month only,” said Ali, who has become fluent in speaking Indonesian.
Ali said that he, along with his four friends, planned to rent a room together in Jakarta. However, he thought the money would not be enough for a living in the capital.
Similar to Ali, an Afghanistan refugee who requested anonymity voiced the same concerns. The 19-year-old man hoped there would be a certainty about a place for the refugees until the relocation process to the third country by UNHCR.
Based on Tempo’s observation, UNHCR officers called names of listed refugees one by one. They were given briefings and were taken to Sudanese Africa Asian School (SAAS) on Tebet, South Jakarta to be given money. Today, some 150 refugees were brought there by using the Transjakarta bus.
UNHCR officers at the site were reluctant to be interviewed. A place coordinator, Iwan, said the refugees were discharged to seek their own places after being provided with the fund freely. “After they have the money, they are taken to a nearby station and free to go. This is as far as I know,” said Iwan.
The Jakarta administration previously claimed it no longer had the resources to facilitate asylum seekers and decided to shut the ex-Kodim building. The city lacked logistics, and the period of emergency response assistance was set for a maximum of 14 days by the Social Agency, while the aid distribution had passed the deadline, which was 41 days from July 22-August 31.