Indonesia Gives Grant of Rp7.5 Billion to Help Myanmar Refugees

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Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • A woman carries her ill child in a refugee camp at Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, September 26, 2017. This month marks the second anniversary of the fleeing of more than 730,000 Rohingya from Myanmar's northwest Rakhine State to Bangladesh after a military-led crackdown in response to an attack by Muslim militants on Myanmar police posts. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton/File Photo

    A woman carries her ill child in a refugee camp at Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, September 26, 2017. This month marks the second anniversary of the fleeing of more than 730,000 Rohingya from Myanmar's northwest Rakhine State to Bangladesh after a military-led crackdown in response to an attack by Muslim militants on Myanmar police posts. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton/File Photo

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesia provided a grant of Rp7.5 billion to help repatriate the Rohingya refugees from Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh to Myanmar.

    "This is a reaffirmation of Indonesia's commitment made by President Joko Widodo at the 35th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok, last November, to continue to support Myanmar in resolving the Rakhine State issue," Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said at the signing of the MoU on the awarding of grants from Indonesia goes to the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta on Friday.

    The funds were handed over by Indonesia to the ASEAN Secretariat, which helped coordinate the return of Myanmar refugees through the implementation of the preliminary need assessment (PNA) recommendations compiled by the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA Center) with the Emergency Response and Assessment Team of ASEAN (ERAT).

    In March 2019, teams from the ASEAN-ERAT and AHA Centers visited Rakhine State to conduct an initial assessment and readiness of Myanmar to deal with the return of Rohingya refugees.

    The recommendations produced by the team included three main elements, namely capacity building at the reception center and refugee transit point; strengthening information dissemination; and providing support for the provision of basic services such as education, health, and clean water.

    "Disseminating this information is important to build the trust of the refugees at Cox’s Bazar regarding the preparation of repatriation which must be done voluntarily, safely and with dignity," Foreign Minister Retno said.

    The ASEAN Secretariat team has visited Cox’s Bazar twice, on 27-29 July 2019 then on 17-20 December 2019. The second visit focused on information dissemination efforts to increase the trust of refugees to return to Myanmar.

    According to Myanmar Permanent Representative to ASEAN U Min Lwin, the grant from Indonesia is the first contribution made by ASEAN member countries through the ASEAN Secretariat.

    The contribution is also expected to strengthen the role of the ad hoc team formed by the ASEAN Secretariat to monitor the implementation of PNA recommendations.

    ANTARA