The Jakarta Post
The Foreign Ministry will allocate Rp 100 billion (US$6.1 million) from its 2020 budget for the protection of Indonesian citizens living abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ministry’s proposal to reallocate its Rp 8.6 trillion budget was approved by the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
During a virtual working meeting with House Commission I, which oversees foreign affairs, on Tuesday, Foreign Ministry secretary-general Mayerfas said the Rp 10 billion budget had initially been earmarked for the management of the ministry building in Jakarta.
“The reallocated budget will be used to fulfill the needs of about 49 Indonesian missions abroad and to ensure the wellbeing of Indonesian citizens affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mayerfas said during the meeting.
“The Indonesian missions are asked to report their needs in their accredited working areas,” he went on to say.
Commission I approved the proposal and agreed that the budget be used for the procurement of emergency shelters and staple food deliveries for Indonesian citizens.
The House also asked the Foreign Ministry to heighten communication, monitoring, mapping and protection to ensure the protection of citizens abroad, said Commission I chairwoman Meutya Hafid.
As of Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry recorded that 302 Indonesians had tested positive for COVID-19 abroad, resulting in eight fatalities. Meanwhile, 37 citizens have recovered from the disease.