Minister updates president on progress to overcome famine in Papua

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Minister updates president on progress to overcome famine in Papua

Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, Muhadjir Effendy, when met at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Tuesday, April 30, 2024. (ANTARA/Yashinta Difa/rst)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, Muhadjir Effendy, reported to President Joko Widodo regarding progress in the development of several infrastructure projects to overcome famine in Papua.

"I reported on the construction of warehouses in the Sinak and Agandugume sub-districts to permanently overcome hunger and food shortages in several sub-districts in Papua," he stated at the Presidential Palace on Tuesday.

To support the distribution of food to logistics warehouses in the two sub-districts, the government plans to extend the Sinak Airport runway to 800 meters to accommodate large logistics transport aircraft, such as Hercules or CN-235.

By making Sinak as a distribution and warehousing center for the Central Papua and Papua Highland regions, the minister hoped it would reduce food distribution and logistics costs.

"If access to Sinak is open, several surrounding sub-districts can be connected. This really matters," Effendy explained.

Moreover, the minister highlighted that the government will build road access from Sinak to the three sub-districts of Agandugume, Lambewi, and Oneri hit by famine last year. In this way, the food distribution and logistics process, which earlier entailed travel for two days and one night on foot, can be shortened to just a few hours.

"I have discussed this issue with the minister of transportation to extend the runway. Meanwhile, sub-district connectivity is the responsibility of the PUPR minister. Earlier, the president agreed to immediately hold a limited meeting to discuss this plan," he remarked.

He stated that the government would be channeling ready-to-use funds to build food warehouses, considering the urgency to address the famine problem in Papua.

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"The budget will be handled by the Finance Ministry and the Financial and Development Supervisory Agency (BPKP). This year, we are targeting the completion of the warehouse and the runway extension," he remarked.

Effendy stated that the warehouse could store up to 100 tons of tubers, commonly known as the Papuan staple food.

"I also received instructions from the president to not change their staple food. With the warehouse, we are able to store long-lasting tubers, either from their own harvest or from other areas to overcome food crisis season," the minister added.