"Free Food Operation"; a Form of National Solidarity during COVID-19 Emergency

In response to the COVID-19 emergency phase, ACT provides various assistance, including Free Food Operation.

ACT Board of Directors launching the Humanitarian vehicles on Thursday (3/19) in Gunung Sindur, Bogor.

ACTNews, JAKARTA - On March 19, 2020, at 5:07 p.m. Western Indonesia Standard Time, a total of 309 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Indonesia. Fifteen of them recovered and 25 others died. Meanwhile, medical personnel are increasingly overwhelmed with handling COVID-19 positive patients and suspects. Additionally, the need for food, supplements, and masks is increasing.

In this COVID-19 emergency situation, Aksi Cepat Tanggap responded by providing a variety of assistance. Part of the assistance is the "Free Food Operation" which was held on Thursday (19/3). In this activity, ACT launched a number of humanitarian fleet at the Indonesian Humanitarian Center (IHC), Gunung Sindur. The launching of this humanitarian fleet is part of ACT’s action to invite the community to take part in fighting the COVID-19 outbreak by not leaving social concerns amidst the pandemic.

Ahyudin, Chairman of Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT)’s Supervisory Board stated that, in any situation that happens to this nation, we must continue to be grateful. He added that Allah’s mercy is far greater than any disaster that this nation faces. "Let's get closer to the Creator who rules all lives. We also greatly appreciate all medical workers, especially the volunteers who have dedicated themselves in dealing with the disaster that befalls this nation. This nation is far stronger to deal with various disasters, both natural disasters and Corona outbreak. This nation has the qualities of togetherness, generosity, and great cooperation which is the superiority of this nation. In many other countries, many people are complaining, but our nation, Insha Allah, will deal with the value of kindness that is far greater. These things will bring sympathy from the Almighty, and then His help will come," he said.

Thus, added Ahyudin, all elements of the nation can immediately resolve disasters in this country. He hopes that with ACT's experiences in dealing with natural disasters, ACT can provide the best assistance amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.

"This spirit of optimism needs to be echoed and intensified given the outbreak that also impacts the economy of the community, especially the underprivileged. So, our action strategy that will also involve all elements of the nation is by sending our best humanitarian fleet, such as the Humanity Food Truck, Humanity Rice Truck, Humanity Water Truck, Waqf Drinking Water Truck, and Pre-Hospital Ambulance. All of ACT will be responsible for making every disaster relief a best work in helping the nation, "Ahyudin added.

Sri Edy Kuncoro, as the ACT Program Director, explained that all strategic steps taken by ACT in supporting the Indonesian people to fight against the Coronavirus outbreak will be manifested in the "Free Food Operation" for underprivileged communities and medical heroes, who have dedicated themselves to take care of the patients.

For medical heroes, ACT will dedicate 3,000 servings of meal/day. In addition, to provide enough hydration as a way to protect from diseases, ACT will also give 100,000 boxes of Waqf Drinking Water for free. In addition, for underprivileged families we will distribute 1,000 tons of rice through the BERASA program so they can focus on dealing with the outbreak without having to think about how to fulfill their basic needs.

"Next, we will initiate the Rice for Santri (BERISI) program to 100 pesantrens, distribute 130,000 liters of clean water to the people in 100 cities / regencies, distribute disinfectant liquid to 35 cities / regencies and 350 points. To run various programs, we will involve 1,000 volunteers who come with us to fight Coronavirus. We ask donors and benefactors to continue praying for us. We will also invite the community to jointly fight Coronavirus. We will continue to support the people of Indonesia in fighting Coronavirus" said Sri Eddy Kuncoro.

A number of ACT’s humanitarian vehicles were dispatched to support the "Free Food Operation" during the Covid-19 emergency. (ACTNews / Muhajir Arif Rahmani)

ACT has been educating the public about COVID-19 outbreak through various communication channels and health counseling in various regions. Since the beginning of the outbreak until the time when it finally reached Indonesia, ACT has responded through various aid programs in Indonesia and abroad. Doctor Muhammad Riedha Bambang, ACT’s Medical Coordinator explained, "From the beginning, we haven’t been sitting idly. We have distributed masks, cleaning equipment, hand sanitizers, health counseling etc. both at home and abroad. For overseas beneficiaries, we have sent masks to Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Taiwan. Our message to all Indonesian people is that we do not need to panic, but we must increase our awareness. This is because the mortality rate is still far lower than the MERS and SARS outbreaks. We continue to support all medical heroes and will continue to support the community until the outbreak ends," added Riedha.

At the end of the launching ceremony of the humanitarian vehicles, the President of Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) Ibnu Khajar invited the wider community to continue to increase social awareness in the midst of the spread of this pandemic disease. In his opinion, the COVID-19 outbreak is a moment to show our sympathy for others.

"As we know, there are many of our brothers who cannot afford to buy provisions for their families due to the declining economy. We also have to remember that many volunteers and medical heroes are at the forefront to help our community. Many of them don’t even have time to eat and are very exhausted. ACT expresses its deepest appreciation to all who are at the forefront in handling the outbreak. It's time for this nation to provide the best help and prayers. A total of 46 ACT branch offices will be mobilized to provide assistance to 230 places. This assistance comes from the generosity of the donors and benefactors. Invite your entire community, neighbors, co-workers, and others to work together to face this pandemic disease. Give the best help to people in this country and abroad. May Allah protect us from this disease. Together, let’s fight coronavirus," concluded Ibnu. []