(Washington) – September 14. The US-ASEAN Business Council Institute (USABCI), together with the American Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (AICC), successfully facilitated delivery of 30 pallets of critical relief materials to Indonesia amidst recent COVID-19 outbreaks. The organizations jointly led efforts to coordinate two in-kind shipments from express carriers FedEx and UPS, with expertise and technical assistance provided by Deloitte. The 30 pallets collectively included over 1 million swab kits, and other categories of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from a larger donation by the City of New York to Yayasan BUMN untuk, the foundational arm of the Ministry for State Owned Enterprises (BUMN) in Indonesia.
“I am so proud that the US-ASEAN Business Council Institute could play such a fundamental role in the movement of these vital materials to the people of Indonesia,” said USABCI President Elizabeth Dugan. “The generosity of New York City and FedEx and UPS cannot be overstated, and when you see organizations– both American and Indonesian – band together as they have behind this critically important need, you know that even in the face of crisis, the best of people’s hearts will emerge and prevail.”
“I first heard about the New York donated material in early August and immediately felt proud as a New Yorker that we had surplus material for others around the world, especially since the Indonesian community in Queens had rallied in 2020 to provide daily meals to emergency medical workers,” said Wayne Forrest, President of AICC. “I then found my way to the Global Pandemic Task Force and our colleagues at the US-ASEAN Business Council Institute who have been true partners to arrange this initial shipment. The Indonesian Consulate in New York and member companies Bank Negara Indonesia and Bank Rakyat Indonesia helped facilitate relations with New York City and the recipients in Indonesia. We now have a framework to move the remaining 1000+ pallets.”
Indonesia has battled a spike in COVID-19 cases recently due to the highly transmissible delta variant. While the peak in cases in this latest spike has thankfully passed, there is still an urgent need for relief materials including masks, swabs, gowns, ventilators, and home test kits. Having enough PPE on hand will give Indonesia greater resilience in responding to potential spikes in the future as new variants of the virus emerge.
"We are very grateful to the City of New York for donating the materials, and of course to all of the organizations that have helped in ensuring that we were able to receive the first shipment today. These supplies will certainly help our community in overcoming the current COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia" said Mr. Harjawan Balaningrath, Chairman, Yayasan BUMN untuk Indonesia.
The larger donation was received symbolically in August by Minister Erick Thohir, Indonesia’s Minister of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), accompanied by Minister Budi Karya Sumadi, Indonesia’s Minister of Transportation, from Amb. Sung Y. Kim, U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia.
“We are grateful to the US-ASEAN Business Council Institute, the American Indonesian Chamber of Commerce, and the American companies who have been steadfast in their support of Indonesia’s pandemic response effort. U.S. corporate excellence continues to strengthen Indonesia through sustainable business practices, jobs and training opportunities, and charitable donations. This gift from the people of New York City is another example of the strong friendship between our two countries” said Rachel Cooke, Counselor for Public Diplomacy, U.S. Embassy Jakarta.
The first shipment was received at Jakarta Soekarno–Hatta International Airport on Tuesday afternoon shortly after 12:00 PM local time. Representatives from Yayasan BUMN untuk, the U.S. Embassy Jakarta, US-ASEAN Business Council, AICC, and FedEx were present for the arrival. The second shipment from UPS is scheduled to arrive on a later date.