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Jakarta Post

New Zealand contributes US$3 million to Indonesia’s COVID-19 response through UNICEF

  • Apriza Pinandita
    Apriza Pinandita

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, May 13, 2020   /   07:17 pm
New Zealand contributes US$3 million to Indonesia’s COVID-19 response through UNICEF A medical worker is seen in a COVID-19 testing lab at Pelindo Husada Citra Hospital in Surabaya, East Java on Tuesday. The lab has a capacity of examining 500 COVID-19 tests a day. (Antara/Moch Asim)

New Zealand is set to contribute NZ$5 million (US$3 million) to Indonesia’s COVID-19 preparedness, response and recovery efforts through UNICEF Indonesia, a long-time partner of New Zealand’s aid program in the country.

In a joint statement on Monday, the government of New Zealand said the funds would enable UNICEF to increase its risk communication and community engagement.

The funds will also be used for the procurement and distribution of critical personal protective equipment (PPE), hygiene and infection-prevention supplies, as well as to ensure the maintenance of essential health services in the archipelago.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented public health and humanitarian crisis. As a close bilateral partner, New Zealand stands ready to support Indonesia in this crisis, responding to the Indonesian government’s request to support the COVID-19 response to help those in need,” said New Zealand’s Ambassador to Indonesia, Jonathan Austin.

Austin said that the government of New Zealand had chosen to partner with UNICEF as the organization involved in the Indonesian government’s multi-sectoral COVID-19 response plan, particularly on the risk-communication and community-engagement pillars.

“UNICEF is working closely with the [Indonesian] government’s COVID-19 task force, as well as with a range of key line ministries to support a comprehensive response and recovery effort,” he added.

Meanwhile, with the help of over 160 staff in Jakarta and seven field locations across the archipelago, UNICEF Indonesia believes that its engagement is able to reach a wide range of people including those living in remote communities.

“Through this contribution from New Zealand, UNICEF will be able to provide wide-ranging support to the Indonesian government on risk-communication strategies and dissemination of content on digital platforms as well as addressing prevention measures to tackle severe disruptions to essential life-saving services such as immunization,” said UNICEF representative to Indonesia Debora Comini.

In addition, UNICEF aims to increase the availability of handwashing stations and COVID-19 hygiene kits, including home-disinfection products in vulnerable areas and support the government’s community-based total sanitation program.

As of last week, Indonesia had received aid packages worth US$80.1 million from at least 101 international partners -- 82 from international NGOs, 10 from international organizations and nine from foreign states.