KOICA Indonesia country director Hoejin Jeong, left, signs agreement on $200,000 assistance to help Indonesia prevent the spread of Covid-19 among inmates in Jakarta on Oct. 7, 2020.

South Korea Provides $200,000 to Help Prevent Spread of Covid among Indonesian Inmates

OCTOBER 07, 2020

Jakarta. The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) collaborates with International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to help Indonesian authorities contain the spread of coronavirus in prisons and mitigate the effects of the pandemic.

Under the agreement signed on Wednesday, the KOICA provides $200,000 “to enable the ICRC expand its material and technical support to 67 prisons in six provinces, thereby benefiting over 57,600 inmates”.

“Post the Covid-19 outbreak, the Korean people have been helping the people of Indonesia through KOICA since April. However, when we found out about the ICRC’s special and meaningful work that might be difficult for other organizations to undertake, we -- at KOICA -- decided to extend our support to them,” Hoejin Jeong, the country director of KOICA Indonesia office, said in a statement.

“On behalf of the Korean people, we are so glad to offer support to help mitigate the spread of the disease in correction facilities in close cooperation with the ICRC. Despite prolonged difficulties caused by the disease, we wish the Indonesian people well and ask them not to lose hope,” he added.

The ICRC said Indonesia is among 50 countries where it has been working to minimize the spread of Covid-19 in detention facilities.

“In Indonesia, we are privileged to partner with the Directorate General of Corrections that is specifically working in this direction and has taken effective measures to control the spread of the pandemic,” Alexandre Faite, the head of the ICRC regional delegation for Indonesia and Timor-Leste, said.

The KOICA funding allows the ICRC to step up their efforts in reaching out to more prisons, he added.

The ICRC delegation in Jakarta has earlier distributed hygiene material to 73 prisons in seven provinces, including Jakarta, Banten, West Java, Lampung, East Java, Bali and South Sulawesi. It also engaged with religious circles to spread accurate and credible health and hygiene information as well as key information on dignified and safe burial of the dead.

Moreover, the ICRC has adapted its programs to support the national authorities in their efforts to fight the pandemic, including technical and material support for management of the dead and ambulance services in close cooperation with the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI), the organization said.

On their part, the KOICA has earlier launched the “ABC Program”, or the agenda for building resilience against Covid-19 through development cooperation.

KOICA Indonesia is also running an inclusive cooperation program to combat Covid-19 with the total budget of $6 million. This includes activities such as provision of medical equipment to hospitals, capacity-building of medical personnel as well as community-based Covid-19 response.