Strengthening Humanitarian Diplomacy with Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Strengthening Humanitarian Diplomacy with Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

ACTNews, JAKARTA – To build synergy has been Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT)’s main step in expanding the humanitarian actions both in Indonesia and overseas. Every element of the society is involved, from the public, private organizations, event government institutions. A collaboration with government institution was once again built. ACT strengthened its humanitarian synergy with the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the visit to the Ministry’s office on Thursday (5/4).

The visit of ACT leaders was warmly welcomed by the Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi, Director of Middle-East Affairs Sunarko, and Senior Advisor for Institutional Affairs Salman Al-Farisi. The effort to strengthen the synergy between the public and the government, according to Marsudi, is a part of the humanitarian diplomacy.

Humanitarian, apart from peace diplomacy, became the prominent aspect of Indonesian foreign policy. These two diplomacies are Indonesia’s main strengths among other nations. In peace diplomacy, Indonesia tries to bridge between conflicting countries, while in humanitarian diplomacy Indonesia works to help the victims of humanitarian crises.

Marsudi stressed how Indonesia’s humanitarian diplomacy is not limited to the role of government, as it also involves the roles of the public and communities.

“That’s why the word ‘diplomacy’ should not be narrowly understood as the job of the diplomats, but [it is also] the job of the whole children of the nation. Therefore, the humanitarian diplomacy can be done well if we build synergy together,” explained Marsudi.

 

As a government institution, collaboration with public elements, including ACT, can expand the ways of the humanitarian diplomacy, especially at times where humanitarian crises and natural disasters happen one after another.

“And we see that ACT is always there to respond the natural disasters and humanitarian crises, as if where there’s a disaster and crisis, there’s ACT. That’s why we are very keen to strengthen the synergy,” expressed Marsudi, continued with a laugh.

ACT’s continuity in providing allevation for the victims of both natural disasters and humanitarian crises is strongly related to the quickness of the responses as well as humanitarian spirit that is always rekindled in every action, as stated by ACT President Ahyudin during the informal discussion with the minister and her staff.

 

“Quickness and community empowerment become ACT’s main characters in every humanitarian programs that we initiated. The Humanitarian Ship program is one of the examples. Alhamdulillah, thousands of tons of rice from Indonesian farmers could be gathered quickly during harvest seasons. We bought their rice, involved them in the preparation process, and shipped the rice though Indonesian logistics to Somalia, Bangladesh, Palestine and, Insha Allah, Syria. Everything is done quickly so that the food aid can be received by the victims of humanitarian crises as soon as possible.

When the food aid arrives at the destination country, the name and the flag of Indonesia are attached to it. For instance, when the rice from Indonesia finally entered Gaza, Indonesian flags dominated the scene of the humanitarian aid convoy that brought the rice from Indonesia. Such was also the case with the Indonesia Humanitarian Center that is based in Reyhanli, Turkey.  

“This program are not done solely by ACT, but also by other elements of this nation that have participated in the provision of food for the Syrian refugees. This is the solidarity of the people of Indonesia,” added Ahyudin.

These continuous programs are the long-term solutions for the victims of humanitarian crises. This, obviously, can not be done without strong collaboration between the government and the public. The minister hoped that a strong synergy can be initiated between Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and ACT as a humanitarian aid agency that channels the donations from the people of Indonesia.

“We deeply appreciate the initiatives and the humanitarian relief that have been sent in Indonesia and overseas. Hopefully, we can further strengthen the synergy between the government and ACT’s programs so that, once more, the solidarity from Indonesia towards humanitarian crises will be greater and more beneficial for those who are in need,” concluded Marsudi. []

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