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IOM Provides Food, Water and Health Screening to Latest Rohingya Arrivals in Indonesia

Jakarta/Bireuen – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is providing support to the Government and humanitarian partners to deliver much needed assistance and cover protection needs of the latest group of Rohingya arrivals in Bireuen.

The group of an estimated 120 Rohingya women, children and men (51 children, 60 women & nine men) which arrived on Thursday late evening on December 30 was stranded 100kms from Bireuen. The group, who are believed to have originated in Bangladesh have been at sea for nearly a month.

This is the fourth Rohingya boat arrival in Indonesia in two years.

“Following previous arrivals of three boats in 2020 and 2021, local refugee task force structures have been established in Aceh, and a temporary reception site/compound remains prepared to receive arrivals through the work of IOM and partners,” said Louis Hoffmann, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Indonesia. 

“IOM has been coordinating closely with the National and local Refugee Task Force to provide support to a safe arrival. IOM’s humanitarian response will reflect earlier assistance and protection efforts, principally focusing on COVID-19 infection, prevention, and control while leading the health response.”. 

Following Government provisions, the group will be quarantined for 10 days with support from IOM in close coordination with the local Covid-19 Task Force and the locally established Refugee Task Force.

Earlier this week, IOM  deployed an integrated team of emergency medical, operations, and protection staff to begin coordination with local authorities, particularly health counterparts, to ensure a safe arrival and screening for immediate health and nutritional needs. Along with the UNHCR registration process, shelters, bedding, food, and psycho-social support and counseling will be amongst the first line of actions to be addressed by IOM and partners.

Hoffmann added, “In prioritizing safety and protection of life at sea, we must commend the Government of Indonesia at both the local and national level who have effected the rescue and the safe disembarkation of this group last night.  The continued concern and welcome on the part of local communities in Aceh have been central to the success of these efforts. 

IOM Indonesia currently provides assistance to over 7,800 refugees in Indonesia, alongside programmes to prevent and counter trafficking in persons, strengthen protections for labour migrants, promote disaster risk reduction and response, and improve integrated border management systems with a particular focus on battling the current COVID-19 pandemic.

IOM’s emergency response to assist the Rohingya disembarkation in Aceh is funded by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

For further information, please contact Ariani Hasanah Soejoeti at IOM Indonesia, email: asoejoeti@iom.int, tel. +62 8122726308 or Itayi Viriri at IOM Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, Tel: +63 917 890 8785, Email: iviriri@iom.int