Aid and budget support for Indonesia battles the COVID-19 outbreak

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President Joko Widodo visit hospital where aid from some countries

Handling Covid-19 outbreak certainly need huge amount of financial, especially when it has spread to almost regions across the country. Although every country are currently struggling with the condition, they also contribute to help other countries that need support to combat the virus.

Indonesia has received US$3 million in aid from the United States to help battle the COVID-19 outbreak.

This was said by Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi following a teleconference with foreign ministers from ASEAN countries and US Secretary of State Mark Pompeo on Thursday, April 23.

The donation that provided by the US was handed over through the World Health Organization (WHO), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), USAID’s Infectious Disease Detection and Surveillance project, Johns Hopkins University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Other forms of assistance given by the US are laboratories, risk communication surveillance as well as medical supplies such as protective gear and reagents,” Retno said.

Besides Indonesia, the US has helped ASEAN countries to handle pandemic, which overall, the donation has a total of $35.3 million.

More than 33,000 people have been infected in the region of Southeast Asia since the virus started spreading in January. As many 1,240 known fatalities in the affected countries.

As of Thursday (April 23), Indonesia recorded 7,775 COVID-19 cases. It continued to lead with the highest death toll from the disease among ASEAN countries with 647 fatalities. Meanwhile, The US has recorded the largest number of positive COVID-19 cases in the world with more than 850,000 infections and more than 47,000 deaths.

According to Retno, that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was looking forward to increasing collaboration between ASEAN and the US, both in addressing the COVID-19 health crisis and the post-pandemic economic crisis.

Meanwhile, extra fund is provided by another organisation, as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US$1.5-billion budget support for Indonesia to help the nation deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. This fund to help the country on public health, livelihoods, and the economy.

The ADB’s budget support is expected to help the Indonesian Government respond to challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak, ADB president Masatsugu Asakawa said in a press statement on the bank’s official website.

 Asakawa said the budget support would be utilized by the government with a strong focus on “the poor and the vulnerable”, including women.

“The quick-disbursing financing is part of a larger support package that ADB will provide to help Indonesia respond to COVID-19, in close coordination with other development partners,” he revealed.

The coronavirus pandemic has had a debilitating health, social, and economic impact on Indonesia, he noted.

Indonesia’s Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati responding the ADB’s budget support, saying that ADB’s assistance was “timely” and would “help the government implement comprehensive measures to mitigate the devastating impact of COVID-19.”

ADB president Asakawa visited Indonesia from 2–4 March 2020 and met with President Joko Widodo, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, and other senior officials. Then on 27 March, Asakawa and Sri Mulyani discussed Indonesia’s COVID-19 response and how ADB would back the country’s endeavors to tackle the spread of the virus.

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