Manado, North Sulawesi (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo handed over El Nino cash assistance to beneficiary families in Manado, North Sulawesi, on Thursday.

He said that in addition to the cash assistance, the government will continue providing rice aid until March 2024.

"The increase in rice aid quota for the next three months is certain," he affirmed.

He said he hoped that the rice assistance would reach those communities in North Sulawesi who need it. The government will check the state budget's capacity first to continue the program, he added.

He said that if the state budget is sufficient, the government will extend the rice assistance program until June 2024.

The government will distribute 10 kilograms of rice to each beneficiary in April, May, and June next year if the state budget can fund the program.

According to ANTARA's observation, the recipients of the assistance in Manado expressed their gratefulness for the President's visit.

After conveying his remarks, Widodo handed over the aid to some people and took selfies with them.

At the event, he also handed over two bicycles to Family Hope Program recipients.

Widodo began his North Sulawesi trip from a market in Talaud Islands district, where he reviewed the prices of several staple foods.

Afterward, he inaugurated the start of internet services to underdeveloped, frontier, and outermost regions from a Base Transceiver Station (BTS) in North Bowombaru.

He also launched the integration of the Republic of Indonesia Satellite 1 (SATRIA-1) and reviewed the Karakelang Ring Road.

Widodo said that every family that is eligible for the government's food assistance program can register at the nearest government office.

The head of state assured that the government has provided a sufficient budget for the food assistance program.

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Translator: Nancy T, Kenzu
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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