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Saudi Arabia pledges fund of Rp1 billion for Lomboks quake victims

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has pledged a humanitarian fund of Rp1 billion (US$1=Rp14,395) to help the Lombok quake victims, General Chairman of the Indonesian Council of Ulemas (MUI) Maruf Amin revealed here on Thursday.

"The Saudi Arabian ambassador to Indonesia has expressed his governments commitment to contribute humanitarian fund of Rp1 billion through MUI. Alhamdulillah (Thank God)," he stated.

Amin, whose name has officially been announced by incumbent President Joko Widodo as his running mate for the 2019 Presidential Election, noted that the donated funds would be distributed to the quake victims through MUI-West Nusa Tenggara Provincial chapter.

Lombok Island in West Nusa Tenggara Province has thrice been hit by strong earthquakes. The first quake, measuring 6.4 on Richter Scale, rocked the resort island on July 29, while the second major quake hit it on August 5.

On Thursday, another major quake, measuring 6.2 on the Richter Scale, again hit Lombok when workers were still busy looking for victims being buried under the rubble of buildings that collapsed after the magnitude 7 earthquake shook the island.

Meanwhile, Director of MUIs Assessment Institute for Foods, Drugs and Cosmetics (LPPOM MUI) Lukmanul Hakim stated that his team would assess the ground condition to know the real needs of the quake victims.

"By having a clear map of the victims needs, we can decide on the recovery programs that we need to conduct," he added.

MUI Coordinator for Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara, and Bali provincial areas Sodikun noted that the post-disaster recovery programs should be prioritized to find an appropriate solution.

He underlined the importance of religious approach, saying that it was needed to motivate those badly affected by the major quakes that had caused them to lose their loved ones and also suffer from material losses.

The strong-intensity quake, which rocked Lombok Island on Sunday evening, reportedly killed at least 347 people and injured 236 people. It also damaged thousands of houses and forced tens of thousands of local residents to take refuge.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) reported that the death toll is forecast to rise, as several people still remain buried under the rubble of destroyed buildings.

In response to the impacts of this deadly disaster, President Joko Widodo had instructed his concerned ministers, particularly Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Wiranto and other stakeholders, to immediately address them.

The immediate response includes the evacuation of injured and dead victims and dispatch of relief aid.

Amid this catastrophic condition, a strong feeling of solidarity for the Lombok quake victims has been growing in the hearts of millions of Indonesians, as can be observed from the solidarity campaigns that various components in society have conducted in different parts of the country over the past several days.

The countrys leading daily newspaper, Kompas, for instance, has even initiated a fundraising by encouraging its readers to donate their money through the bank account of its humanitarian fund foundation "BCA Cabang Gajah Mada 012.302143.3."

The solidarity campaigns were also organized by organizations and companies. On Wednesday, a group of the Indonesian Mosque Lovers Front (FPMI) activists in East Lampung District, Lampung Province, raised funds from the road users passing by the east coast of Trans-Sumatran highway.

According to Deputy for Infrastructure and Business Affairs of the State-Owned Enterprises Ministry Hambra Samal, a total of 24 state-owned companies participated in a joint solidarity campaign and, as of August 1, 2018, had successfully collected a total fund of Rp2.1 billion.

Several state-owned transportation operators, including national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia and state-owned ferry operator PT ASDP Indonesia Ferry, participated in this solidarity campaign by transporting humanitarian workers and aid packages to the disaster zones.

Local journalists belonging to the "Pen Care Community" in the West Java city of Cirebon also showed their solidarity for the Lombok quake victims by launching a charity campaign on Tuesday to help the survivors of the earthquake.

Source: ANTARA News


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