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Indonesia Sends Humanitarian Assistance to Vanuatu

“President Joko ‘Jokowi’ has agreed on this humanitarian assistance delivery to Vanuatu. He has also instructed me to follow up on this assistance provision,” Chief Cultural Affairs Minister Muhadjir Effendy said.

Indonesia will bring this humanitarian assistance on a My Indo Airline B737-800 cargo aircraft, which will depart from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. 

Indonesia will also send a 14-membered humanitarian mission to Vanuatu with members coming from the Coordinating Ministry for Cultural Affairs, Foreign Affairs Ministry, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), and the State Intelligence Agency (BIN). This humanitarian mission will fly on a B737-800 Garuda plane.

The Indonesian government announced it would provide Rp 10 billion ($679,544) worth of humanitarian aid to help Vanuatu repair the VVIP room of the airport in its capital Port Vila. Indonesia is also sending 34.7 tons of staples worth Rp 7.2 billion. This includes staple food packages of milk, rice, sugar, biscuits, ready-to-eat meals, and instant noodles.

Indonesia and Vanuatu share quite thorny bilateral ties, as the two countries have had heated arguments at the United Nations (UN). At the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly in 2020, then Prime Minister of Vanuatu Bob Loughman alleged that the indigenous people in West Papua had suffered from human rights abuses. Indonesia then accused Vanuatu of not respecting the UN Charter and its principle of non-interference in the domestic affairs of other countries.