Indonesia: UK government praises the reconstruction process in Aceh

Thursday, May 17, 2007
By nias

The British Government said it was impressed with the achievements of the Indonesian Government, as well as international donors and NGOs, in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Aceh two years after the devastating tsunami of December 2004. Parliamentary Under-Secretary Department for International Development Gareth Thomas acknowledged that the Indonesian government has achieved remarkable results which provide important lessons for other countries as they undertake massive reconstruction programs. The undersecretary met with the Director of the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency (BRR) of Aceh and Nias Kuntoro Mangkusubroto in London from 8 to 10 of May 2007.

On the visit, BRR Director Kuntoro also met Ian McCartney, Minister of State for Trade of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Minister McCartney and Kuntoro discussed the BRR’s anti corruption unit and explored ways for the two government agencies to exchange best practices in anti-corruption. During the visit, Minister Thomas and Director Kuntoro also discussed the challenges of the reintegration process now underway in the province and the importance of the BRR sharing its experiences to the international community. Minister McCartney plans to visit Indonesia next year and BRR Director Kuntoro invited the Minister to Aceh to see first-hand the achievements of the reconstruction program and how the British government has supported those efforts.

Kuntoro thanked the British government for its generous support to the rehabilitation and reconstruction program in Aceh and Nias and hopes for its continued support in the future.

UK Government’s support to the rehabilitation and reconstruction

The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) has so far contributed £7 million to the Multi Donor Fund (MDF) and has committed an additional £26 million to the MDF between 2007 and 2009. The MDF is a trust fund that pools the resources of 15 donors and manages the design and implementation of a range of reconstruction projects based on the priorities set out by the Government of Indonesia

MDF supports an integrated approach to community recovery including the provision of housing, land titles and community infrastructure; district and provincial level infrastructure and transport; capacity building for local actors; and projects which support the sustainable management of the environment.

In addition to funding provided through the MDF, the UK Government supports other projects including:

– £562,000 to Transparency International to increase participation of the Acehnese people, prevent corruption, and promote good governance in the process of reconstruction.

– £6 million in technical assistance to the World Bank’s Support for Poor and Disadvantaged Areas (SPADA) programme to provide procurement and financial management services that will help deliver improved economic infrastructure and social services to areas recovering from the earthquake, tsunami and conflict, working through district governments.

– £10 million to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to support the livelihoods component of the Emergency Response and Transitional Recovery (ERTR) programme. ERTR provides cash-for-work programmes to help people get back to work.

– £3 million to the’Aceh Window’ of the DFID-supported Decentralisation Support Facility (DSF), to provide analytical and capacity building support to the recovery process, with a particular emphasis on local government.

– £4 million though the World Bank to the Kecamatan Development Project (KDP), which provides block grants directly to community groups to fund priority development projects, such as re-building key infrastructure.

– £4 million to the Asia Development Bank’s (ADB) Community Water Services and Health Project to improve sustained access to safe drinking water and sanitation, and promote better hygiene in selected low-income communities in rural areas.

The UK has also supported the peace process through the deployment of Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM), a peacekeeping mission tasked to monitor the implementation of Helsinki Memorandum Of Understanding between Government of Indonesia and Free Aceh Movement (GAM). The mission was set up during the UK EU presidency where the UK also assisted in setting up the Initial Monitoring Presence prior to AMM. The UK sent more than 18 monitors to serve in the AMM.

During the rehabilitation and reconstruction process, senior officials of the UK Government have visited Indonesia and Aceh to show support, including the Secretary of State for International Development Hillary Benn in January 2005 and Parliamentary Under-Secretary Department for International Development Gareth Thomas in May 2005. Princess Royal visited Banda Aceh in August 2005 in her capacity as the chairwoman of Save the Children, a British NGO working in Aceh and Nias.

For Further Information:

Twk. Mirza Keumala
BRR NAD-Nias Spokesperson
+62 (812) 698 9519

Source: ReliefWeb.int, 16 May 2007

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