Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto distributed El Nino cash assistance, provided to ease people's burden due to the weather phenomenon's impact, to the beneficiaries in West Jakarta, Jakarta, on Friday.

"El Nino assistance is given because in its development, El Nino affects agricultural crops. The planting season, which was supposed to start last month, to date, has not started, especially in regions. Thus, harvest in April 2024 will be postponed to June 2024," he remarked.

Hartarto made the statement during the cash assistance distribution event held at the post office of state-owned postal company PT Pos Indonesia in West Jakarta on Friday.

Under the cash assistance program, the government is providing Rp200 thousand (around US$12.97) per month to each beneficiary for two months.

The assistance for two months is given at once. Thus, each beneficiary receives Rp400 thousand (around US$25.94).

The fund readied for the program is Rp7.52 trillion (around US$470.19 million) for 18.8 million beneficiaries.

In addition to the cash assistance, the government is providing rice assistance to 21.8 million beneficiaries. Under the program, each beneficiary receives 10 kilograms of rice.

"Several days ago, I saw in Yogyakarta, at the post office, the achievement has reached around 85 percent (for El Nino cash assistance distribution). Thus, especially for post offices nationally, it has reached more than 90 percent (91 percent)," he explained.

Some of the beneficiaries that Hartarto met in Yogyakarta work as pedicab drivers and do laundry for a living, while in West Jakarta, most of them are unemployed.

The minister expressed hope that Pos Indonesia would distribute cash assistance right on target.

"This assistance is expected to be able to help the community to meet needs for staple goods and to support the community's purchasing power," he remarked.

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Translator: M Baqir, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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