Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Foreign Ministry has allocated a budget of Rp156 billion for the protection of Indonesian citizens abroad in 2021.
“To be sure, the amount is larger than we allocated last year,” director general of protocol and consular affairs at the Foreign Ministry, Andy Rachmianto, said here on Monday.
The budget fund will mainly be distributed among Indonesian representatives abroad to cope with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, he added.
Last year, the ministry distributed Rp86 billion in budget funds among 59 Indonesian representatives abroad, primarily for dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fund was used for provision of cash assistance, logistics, personal protective equipment, legal mentorship, and repatriation of Indonesian citizens, among other things.
“For 2021, though (the COVID-19) vaccine has been discovered, we continue to anticipate the impact of the pandemic. Moreover, the new variant (of the coronavirus) will no doubt pose a challenge for the Indonesian diplomacy," Rachmianto explained.
“Hopefully, with the larger budget allocation, the Indonesian representatives will be able to give a quick and accurate response in handing Indonesian citizens abroad,” the former Indonesian ambassador to Jordan and Palestine said.
Amid the ongoing pandemic, the government repatriated about 172 thousand Indonesian citizens to the country and distributed 600 thousand packages of logistics and medical assistance among Indonesian citizens residing in more than 60 countries last year.
According to the ministry’s records, around 2,400 Indonesians were exposed to COVID-19, with 167 succumbing to the infection.
Rachmianto said 70 percent of the 2,400 Indonesians recovered from the infection.
Source: Antara News