Jokowi says rice aid to be extended until year-end if possible

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Jokowi says rice aid to be extended until year-end if possible

President Joko Widodo speaks to residents before handing over rice aid in Tolitoli , Central Sulawesi, on March 27, 2024. (ANTARA/HO-Presidential Secretariat/rst)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said that the provision of 10 kilograms of rice every month to beneficiary families is expected to continue until the end of this year.

"While I cannot make guarantees, I am committed to continuing this program if possible," he said while handing over food aid in Tolitoli, Central Sulawesi, according to an official statement released by his office on Wednesday.

He confirmed that beneficiaries have received the assistance from January to March 2024. The assistance will continue for the next quarter, subject to budget availability.

"Has anyone received the assistance from January to March? Do you agree if the program continues in April, May, and June?" he asked the public.

Those present responded positively to the proposed extension.

Jokowi explained that the rice assistance program has been carried out by the government due to the rising rice prices, a phenomenon which is also experienced by other countries.

He informed that rice stocks in Indonesia are still relatively safe at 1.2 million tons and are being managed at the Perum Bulog warehouse.

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"During my working visit to regions, if I come to Bulog's warehouse, I will definitely check the stock. If there is a shortage, I immediately ask them to stock up," he said.

One of the beneficiaries, Yeyen, said she was happy to receive the food assistance from the government. It was the fourth time she had received 10 kilograms of rice. Another beneficiary, Maryani, was also grateful for the assistance. She expressed the hope that the assistance program would continue.

"I have received the assistance three times. Thank God. I am happy and I feel helped. I hope this assistance will continue," she said.