JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs signed an agreement to extend aid to the Pacific nations of Fiji and the Solomon Islands.
The Indonesian aid is part of the three countries’ partnership in mitigating the coronavirus pandemic as confirmed by Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.
Indonesia had previously agreed to assist Fiji in renovating their Victoria School which was affected by a natural disaster.
The funding for the program came from the Indonesian Aid initiative which was established by the Indonesian government in December 2019.
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The agreement was originally planned to be signed in Timor Leste, but due to technical problems, it has since been postponed.
Retno Marsudi said that the recent coronavirus pandemic aid will be used to finance the procurement of medical equipment produced by Indonesian manufacturers.
The move is viewed as a sign of Indonesia’s commitment to its Pacific partners particularly in times of crisis.
During the signing ceremony, Retno said that the aid from Indonesia is to further strengthen partnerships in mitigating the pandemic, especially with its Pacific partners.
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“International cooperation and solidarity during a crisis like this are crucial because no country is immune from the pandemic.”
Retno Marsudi stated that there are many similarities between Indonesia and Pacific nations in terms of background, culture, language, and priorities on international issues such as climate change.
“This cooperation is in line with the Pacific Elevation vision which Indonesia envisioned two years ago in New Zealand.”
(Writer: Achmad Nasrudin Yahya | Editor: Icha Rastika)