As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take hold of many areas in Indonesia, the Government has extended the lockdown further going into the 2nd of August 2021. Covid cases just yesterday (27th of July 2021) reported 45,000 new cases with addition to Indonesia’s daily record of 2,069 deaths. In response to this, lower socio-economic communities are put into further hardship. With these further extensions of the lockdown in Yogyakarta, Indonesia the Emergency Covid Relief Fund which the CEO of Harapan Fian Ahmad “Didin” Syaifuddin and his Australian co-organizer Alex Gotts launch has become crucial in supporting those vulnerable in lower socio-economic communities.
As of right now the go fund me campaign has raised Rp. 75,743,130 which works out at roughly $7,107 Australian dollars. From this Rp.36,295,500 (around $3,405 Australian dollars) has been already distributed to vulnerable communities in Yogyakarta. The results of this show how 3 communities and 39 people have been supported during this lockdown. Some support that has been put into place is a collective kitchen supported by volunteers to feed those hungry and food care packages for those self-isolating.
Ahmad Budi Sutrisno, a 37 years old busker and bird cage craftsman has described that with small businesses affected by the pandemic his income decreases, but not only that, social ostracization happens to those who are sick stating “In my village, if someone has the flu they are ostracized by residents, instead of being helped. Residents who are self-isolating are also ostracized.” With the support from the Emergency Covid Relief Fund those who are vulnerable will get the support they need including food and funds to pay for utilities such as rent. It is important that we are all watching out for one another during this terrible time. Support from community is crucial for not only minimising Covid cases but for socialisation and mental health.
It is common knowledge that many small businesses are suffering with this pandemic, one such example is many angkringan are closing due to COVID-19 and the extended lockdowns. Domestic Workers such as Srikanti Dwi Kurahayu struggle to sell the food that they make. This particular lady finds herself to be lucky to get customers such as housewives ordering from her so she can continue production. Srikanti also admits her job to be quite risky such as going to market as she has vulnerable family members at home she must take care of. Srikanti has stated that if financial support was given, apart from shopping she wouldn’t leave the house.
Both Ahmad Budi Sutrisno and Srikanti Dwi Kurahayu have agreed that with financial assistance such as daily foods, paying rent, and support for their families, they would stay at home. With the Emergency Covid Relief Fund in place, it is crucial to continue to support these vulnerable communities and keep Yogyakarta just even that little bit more safer, with this helping to flatten the curb of COVID-19 cases.