Jakarta (ANTARA) - Head of the National Food Agency (Bapanas) Arief Prasetyo Adi stated that the distribution of rice assistance will be temporarily suspended on February 8-14, 2024, to respect and support the election stages.

Adi stated when contacted by ANTARA here on Wednesday that the temporary stoppage in the food aid distribution during the election silence period and the voting day aims to stress that there is no politicization of the food assistance.

"Government food assistance is temporarily suspended, so there is no politicization of it. It was temporarily suspended to respect the election and for data updates," he remarked.

In a letter to the State Logistics Agency (Bulog), Bapanas urged the agency to temporarily halt the distribution of rice aid from the government food reserves on February 8-14, 2024, throughout Indonesia.

"February 8-9 are holidays, the last campaign is on February 10, the quiet period on February 11-13, and the voting day is on February 14, 2024," he explained.

Related news: Bapanas considers pausing rice aid during election silence period

He emphasized that the distribution of government food aid that is urgently needed by the community will resume on February 15, 2024. He emphasized that the distribution had been planned in the past and is not related to elections.

"This program had been planned for a long time and is not related to elections," he remarked.

Bapanas also urged Bulog to optimize the food assistance distribution before the election silence period and post-voting day, so that the target of distribution can be timely.

The food distribution by Bapanas is carried out based on Law No. 18 of 2012 concerning Food and Presidential Regulation No. 66 of 2021 which states that the Bapanas has a duty to maintain the national food availability and stability.

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Related news: Bulog affirms no political agendas behind rice assistance disbursal

Translator: Indra P, Kenzu
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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