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The Government is Optimal to Guard Food Aid for the People from KST Disruptions  in Papua

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By : Norri Margareth )*

The government has made every effort to optimize the provision of assistance to residents affected by drought in Papua which has been hampered by the actions of the Papuan Terrorist Separatist Group (KST). The famine in Papua requires a large supply of food, drink and other basic needs. However, due to the actions of KST Papua, this assistance has been hampered, for this reason the current government wants to provide solutions and concern for the welfare of the people of Papua in dealing with disasters.

Main Researcher at the Regional Research Center for the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), Cahyo Pamungkas, said that handling by sending aid would not solve the food problem in the Papua region, therefore it was necessary to develop local food research. This is because the famine in Papua which has claimed its victims has occurred repeatedly, for this reason this problem actually needs improvement in governance.

Nevertheless, another solution is still being sought by the government to deal with this case in Papua, namely by planting fortifying plants or food estates in a number of areas of Papua which are prone to being affected by drought. This aims to encourage food security for marginalized locals. Indeed, research on local food in Papua needs to be developed further, especially when winter arrives.

As is known, the drought in Papua caused six people to die, coupled with extreme cold temperatures, and the consequences of this disaster caused staple crop harvests to fail. According to the records of the Ministry of Social Affairs (Kemensos), around 7,500 people are currently affected by hunger in Papua.

At times like this, the assistance sent by the Government is hampered by another problem, namely Papuan political affairs, namely KST. How could it not be, the aid that was sent was hampered due to the actions carried out by KST with all the acts of terror, this is what made it difficult for residents to receive assistance quickly.

In this regard, the Papua Police Chief Inspector General Mathius D Fakhiri provided a solution so that the assistance would reach all affected residents, including the Lambewi District and Agandugume District, Puncak Regency, Central Papua. The solution is to mobilize community assistance at the disaster site to go to Sinak District on foot. The community is expected to take assistance in the form of basic materials to the Sinak District, because the location is the closest to the security post.

This problem is indeed not without obstacles, risk factors such as interference from KST Papua also need to be considered, they might smuggle in to take food staples intended for residents. However, it is hoped that this will not happen, because KST Papua should be able to filter its interests and these elements have not done that.

Even though there were obstacles, emergency management was still carried out, including by conducting epidemiological investigations into victims who had died by the Central Papua Provincial Health Office, then distribution of food and medicine aid was also intensified, and health education was carried out periodically. 

The Papua Regional Emergency Medical Team (EMT) also accompanied the operation to monitor and manage the health of the victims. On the other hand, the Puncak Regency Government also distributed logistical assistance to equipment which included 4,000 packages of ready-to-eat food, 4,000 packages of children’s food, 2,000 packages of ready-to-eat side dishes, 500 rolls of tents, 25 boxes of sardines, 32 boxes of corned beef, sausages 83 boxes, 15 boxes of shredded beef, 3,000 sets of school children’s clothes and uniforms, 4,000 sets of adult clothes, 4,000 pieces of adult trousers, and 4,000 sheets of blankets.

It doesn’t stop there, to support the handling of the drought emergency that hit the Central Papua region, the Head of BNPB Lt. Gen. Suharyanto together with the Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture (Menko PMK) Muhadjir Effendy as representatives of the Central Government will depart for Central Papua Regency on Wednesday 2 August 2023 tomorrow morning. 

The logistic support and equipment packages will be handed over to the Provincial Government of Papua in the form of 10,000 packages of ready-to-eat food, 3,000 packages of rendang, 3,000 packages of protein milk, 3,000 packages of basic food, 2,000 packages of rolled up tents, 10,000 sheets of blankets, 2,000 sheets of mattresses, folding mattresses 2,000 pieces, 2,000 sets of children’s clothing, 2,000 sets of adult clothing, 4 units of refugee tents, 20 units of electric generators, 3 units of trail motorbikes and 50 tons of rice.

The distribution of logistical assistance to residents affected by the drought was also assisted by a number of TNI and Polri. The Head of BNPB also ensured that the assistance would eventually reach the hands of the people in need. The government has also made optimal efforts to provide assistance to residents even in the midst of the disruption of the Papua KST threat.

)* The author is a Papuan student living in Kupang

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