JAKARTA, 20 December 2019 – Today, representatives of the Indonesian government and the ASEAN Secretariat signed the ‘Agreement between the Government of Indonesia and ASEAN on the Implementation of the Grant for the Repatriation of Displaced Persons to Myanmar’.
The grant, worth approximately US$500,000 will be utilized to provide financial support to the establishment of an Ad-Hoc Support Team of the ASEAN Secretariat to assist the Myanmar government in implementing the recommendations of the Preliminary Needs Assessment.
The agreement was signed by Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for Community Corporate Affairs Michael Tene and Director General of Budget Financing and Risk Management of the Indonesian Ministry of Finance Luky Alfirman. The signing ceremony was held at the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and witnessed by the Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and the Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi. Members of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN, senior officials of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Executive Director of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre), and the press were also in attendance.
In her opening remarks, the foreign minister recalled the statement made by Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the 35th ASEAN Summit held in Bangkok in November 2019, reiterating Indonesia’s commitment to support the Myanmar government in facilitating the repatriation process. The foreign minister also highlighted Indonesia’s recent contribution to Myanmar, namely the Indonesian Aid Project Station Hospital in Myaung Bwe, Mrauk U, Rakhine State.
The Secretary-General of ASEAN, in his speech, stressed that the agreement is a significant milestone in ASEAN’s collective efforts to support the Government of Myanmar in facilitating the repatriation process and promoting sustainable development in Rakhine State. The Secretary-General expressed appreciation to the Government of Indonesia for the contribution and emphasised that it would enhance trust and confidence in ASEAN in addressing the humanitarian situation in Rakhine.
In his remarks, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to ASEAN Min Lwin thanked the Indonesian government for the contribution and expressed hope that it would enable the Ad-Hoc Support Team to run effectively.
The ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ERAT) conducted a Preliminary Needs Assessment in May 2019 to facilitate the repatriation of displaced persons in Rakhine State. The Preliminary Needs Assessment agreed on the following three recommendations which includes: (i) enhancing capacity of reception and transit centres; (ii) strengthening information and dissemination; and (iii) support to the provisions of basic services.