For Immediate Release
MEDAN – U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Andrew Sisson visited North Sumatra from December 11-13 to meet with community leaders and government officials. He highlighted USAID projects that save lives of mothers and newborns and a project that provides economic opportunities for women farmers. The visit underscored the United States’ commitment to Indonesia's development and broadening of opportunities for people in North Sumatra.
USAID Mission Director Sisson met with up to 20 women banana farmers from the Barangan Banana Farmers Alliance. The USAID agriculture project helps women farmers take off-grade bananas that typically would not be marketable, process them into banana chips and other food products, and sell them at markets, including Carrefour and Sewu Segar. The project provides technical training on processing and production, business start-up management, and marketing.
“With USAID’s help, we make the bananas better and sell them at markets,” said Ibu Marni Boru Sitepu who is with the Barangan Banana Farmers Alliance. “We can use the income from the bananas to pay for our children’s school fees and other important things.”
USAID Mission Director also visited the Deli Serdang District Public Hospital, which is part of the first round of hospitals and community clinics in North Sumatra that will partner with USAID’s Expanding Maternal and Neonatal Survival (EMAS) project to reduce maternal and newborn mortality. Through USAID’s EMAS project, the hospital receives training on how to strengthen the quality of emergency obstetric and neonatal care and increase effectiveness of referral systems between community clinics and hospitals in the event of life-threatening complications. North Sumatra is one of the six provinces where the USAID EMAS program is implemented.
“Improvements have been made since we’ve started working with EMAS,” said Deli Serdang District Public Hospital Chief of OB/GYN Dr. Martin Siregar. “Now the community clinics know who and when to refer to our hospital so mothers and babies can get the help they need.”
The many USAID projects in North Sumatra are just some of the U.S. Embassy’s initiatives in Indonesia, which demonstrates the breadth of engagement under the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership signed in 2010 by Presidents Obama and Yudhoyono.
Last updated: February 13, 2014