Jakarta. The government is working to establish a single agency for its international aid programs, an official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday (17/01).
"We have started the process of establishing a single agency, and it is part of our national priorities, so we must realize it in the near future," the ministry's director general for information and public diplomacy, Cecep Herawan, said.
Coordination of the dedicated body will be led by Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, but will also involve other ministries, including the Ministry of Finance, the National Development Planning Ministry (Bappenas) and the State Secretariat.
The government is still working on the technical and legal aspects of establishing the agency, Cecep said. Once ready, it will serve as a single entry point for international aid from Indonesia.
"We hope it will result in synergy, as Indonesian aid had been scattered. Now we can put it all under this umbrella to reflect our foreign policy," Cecep said.
The agency's initial budget of Rp 1 trillion ($74 million) is in the form of endowment and may increase in the future.
While Indonesian aid is currently provided in the form of grants and technical cooperation with developing countries, with the agency it may also take the form of soft loans, or humanitarian assistance outside of the developing world, if necessary.
"Indonesia's international assistance will be more coordinated now," Cecep said, adding that it will also be part of the country's contribution to the achievement of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Indonesian aid will be focused on development, poverty alleviation, farming, disaster risk management, infrastructure and education. It will also include capacity-building programs on good governance, peacebuilding, conflict resolution, law enforcement and democracy.
In 2014-16, Indonesia organized 134 programs for over 2,000 participants under the South-South cooperation framework.
Active Participation in Global Development
The single agency is expected to pave way for more efficient, transparent and sustainable aid programs.
"As part of a global community, we have a moral duty," Cecep said.
According to Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir, even though Indonesia is still a developing country, it is above many others and its assistance helps to narrow the development gap.
The ministry's director for technical cooperation, Syarif Alatas, said the single agency will make it easier for the government to evaluate its contribution to global development.