Indonesia and the United States first began working together in 1950 when they signed their first economic and technical cooperation agreement. Initial U.S. development support for Indonesia addressed the most urgent needs at the request of the Indonesian Government, including overcoming food shortages, solving critical health challenges, rehabilitating transportation facilities, and developing industries.

On November 3, 1961, President John F. Kennedy established the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which became the United States’ lead development and humanitarian assistance agency. Since then, USAID has partnered with Indonesia in developing the country’s infrastructure and economy. We have helped to tackle widespread problems of poverty, unstable food supplies, and rampant infectious disease. We have supported government efforts to improve maternal and child health, as well as increase agricultural output. USAID has provided relief after numerous natural disasters, such as earthquakes and cataclysmic events—including the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are proud of the role we have played in helping Indonesia develop to become a regional democratic leader in Southeast Asia and a distinguished member of the G20, which includes 20 of the most developed nations.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of relations between the United States and Indonesia. USAID will continue to build on our decades-long partnership with Indonesia as it addresses the political, economic, and social challenges that lie ahead.


President Kennedy signs the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961
President Kennedy signs the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961
National Archive