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Jakarta Post

Government bans paperless foreign aid workers from C. Sulawesi

  • Ivany Atina Arbi

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, October 11, 2018   /   10:47 pm
Government bans paperless foreign aid workers from C. Sulawesi Indonesian Red Cross volunteers dispatch food from a helicopter for earthquake victims at West Beach, Sirenja, Donggala, Central Sulawesi, during an operation on Saturday. The joint team is using a helicopter to distribute aid and rescue victims stranded in remote areas following an earthquake and tsunami on Sept. 28. (The Jakarta Post/Dhoni Setiawan)

The government announced on Thursday that it had turned away three foreign aid workers from China, who intended to enter disaster-hit areas in Central Sulawesi, as they had failed to register with local agencies.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said eight Chinese citizens who were not holding permits arrived in Makassar, South Sulawesi, on Sunday. They said they intended to provide help in Central Sulawesi, and that they were invited by the regent of Sigi regency.

Sigi is one of the regencies in Central Sulawesi that was heavily damaged after a 7.4-magnitude earthquake on Sept. 28, which was followed by a tsunami. 

“Makassar’s authorities had warned the [Chinese citizens] not go to Palu, but three of them still insisted on going,” BNPB spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said, adding that officials from the Foreign Ministry had contacted local authorities to repatriate the foreigners on Oct. 8.

In addition, five Nepali citizens, eight Mexicans and one Australian were also denied access to the provincial capital of Palu, another disaster-hit area, because they had yet to register with local agencies or NGOs.

The BNPB’s regulation stated those who wanted to access disaster-hit areas should be partnered with local agencies or NGOs.

The Nepalese, Mexicans and Australian have been sent to Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, to look for local partnerships.