Govt to disburse social aid to 8.3 mln households

Govt to disburse social aid to 8.3 mln households

Residents of Banyuanyar neighborhood in Solo, Central Java, wait for cash transfers at the neighborhood authority's office on May 15, 2020. (ANTARA PHOTO/MOHAMMAD AYUDHA)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Government has promised to distribute social aid funds to 8.3 million beneficiary households that have been severely affected by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, ahead of Idul Fitri, due on May 24.

The disbursement of social aid funds to 8.3 million of 9 million beneficiary households would be completed within five days, prior to the Idul Fitri celebration, Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, Muhadjir Effendy, said here on Monday.

Around 700,000 other beneficiary households residing in remote areas of Indonesia would receive cash transfers after the Idul Fitri celebration, he told newsmen at a press conference.

The social aid funds would be delivered to eligible recipients through state-owned postal service firm PT Pos Indonesia, he said.

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President Joko Widodo has asked bureaucrats to expedite the disbursement of social aid packages to beneficiary households across the country.

The novel coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, which initially emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019, has since spread to at least 202 countries and territories, including Indonesia, with a massive increase in death toll.

The Indonesian Government officially announced the country's first confirmed cases on March 2 this year. The ongoing pandemic has weakened the purchasing power of scores of Indonesian families, particularly those who have lost their jobs.

In Bogor City, the administration has transferred cash, or "Bantuan Langsung Tunai" (BLT), to as many as 23,000 families that have been severely affected by the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak.

The cash transfers were distributed to the recipients' homes with the help of PT Pos Indonesia on April 28, 2020, Bogor Deputy Mayor Dedie A Rachim revealed recently.

To break the chain of COVID-19 transmission, large-scale social restrictions have been enforced in several cities, including Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, Bekasi, and Pekanbaru.

The central government has also banned homebound travel, locally known as “mudik”, during the fasting month of Ramadhan and the Idul Fitri holiday season.

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