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Govt Prepares Scheme for Tackling Hunger in Central Papua

The Indonesian government has prepared a scheme to handle hunger in three sub-districts of Puncak District, Central Papua: Agandugume, Lambewi, and Oneri.

The residents of the three sub-districts are facing hunger brought on by drought, which has led to crop failures.

“Now, all the processes continue to be carried out, be it for short-term, medium-term, and long-term,” Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, Muhadjir Effendy, said here on Wednesday (August 9).

He informed that under the short-term handling effort, the government is ensuring that the needs for food, medicine, and other basic services in the three sub-districts are fulfilled for the next three months.

The government has distributed thousands of tons of basic necessities. Food stocks have been placed in Sinak Sub-district, which is the closest to Agandugume Sub-district.

“Including the handling of pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and under-five children, for the next three months, (the needs) are fulfilled. For food, there is no problem for the next three months until the agricultural conditions in the three sub-districts are recovered,” the minister said.

In the medium term, a food barn will be readied in Agandugume and a road constructed from Sinak to Agandugume.

Earlier, the journey from Agandugume to Sinak had to be made on foot and took two days and one night to complete. Currently, using the air route to deliver supplies is not possible because the runway is too short and there are very few pilots currently flying to Agandugume Airport.

“At least two-wheeled vehicles can go smoothly from Sinak to Agandugume, so supplies of goods are no longer transported on foot. It would be even better if (it is accessible for) four-wheeled (vehicles),” he said.

Furthermore, the government is also revitalizing Sinak Airport, a task that will involve extending the runway from 1,200 meters to 1,600 meters. Currently, Sinak Airport can only be used for Caravan and Twin Otter aircraft.

“Thus, bigger aircraft like Hercules and CN would be able to land there,” Effendy said.

Another effort will be Base Transceiver Station (BTS) construction. According to the minister, one of the causes for the delays in handling efforts has been the difficulty in getting telecommunications signals.

Meanwhile, long-term handling will cover strengthening community involvement, increasing the availability of health workers and allocating the affirmation fund.

According to the minister, through the Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP), the need for health workers can be fulfilled by Papuan children.

“There is no way we appoint those outside (Papua). We have prepared a budget through the LPDP,” he added.   

Source : Antara News