Bandung City (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto distributed the government's 2024 rice assistance to 109,333 beneficiaries in Bandung City, West Java, on Friday.

He noted that the government would continue to deliver 10-kilogram rice packages to 4,445,601 targeted recipients in 27 districts and cities across West Java.

"The rice aid program is expected to help those who consume 25-40 kilograms of rice per month. We are targeting to distribute rice aid to a total of 4,445,601 beneficiaries in West Java," he remarked.

According to Hartarto, the government is striving to deliver rice assistance to a total of 22 million beneficiaries from January to June in order to help them anticipate the adverse impacts of the El Nino phenomenon.

In addition to rice assistance, the government will distribute cash assistance of Rp200,000 (around US$12.81) per beneficiary to a total of 18 million people hit by the impacts of El Nino.

"(Due to El Nino,) farmers in Pontianak (West Kalimantan) had to push back their rice planting period by three months, while those in West Java by two months. Hence, this aid is utterly needed," he stressed.

Hartarto ensured that the government's aid programs would not be used as a political instrument ahead of the general elections.

"These programs are meant to help people, not politicians. Therefore, the government will continue the programs to maintain the people's purchasing power, lower inflation rates, and stimulate economic growth," he concluded.

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Translator: Rubby J, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Anton Santoso
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