Jakarta (ANTARA) - Head of the National Food Agency (Bapanas), Arief Prasetyo Adi, on Thursday stated that 185 thousand tons of rice has been distributed as of early February this year under the 10-kilogram rice assistance program.

“The realization of rice assistance, before it was suspended, as of February 7 (2024) has reached 185 thousand tons,” he informed in a statement issued here.

He added that his agency is targeting to distribute 440 thousand tons of rice in the first two months of 2024.

Adi said that food assistance distribution, which was suspended from February 8 to 14 in view of the general elections, was resumed on Thursday.

He added that the distribution of rice assistance by Bapanas is being carried out in accordance with Law Number 18 of 2012 on Food and Presidential Regulation Number 66 of 2021 on the National Food Agency, under which maintaining food availability and stability are among the agency’s functions.

The government is providing rice assistance to low-income people in the country using its rice reserves.

This year, the distribution of the assistance started in January and will continue until March.

The rice assistance program is targeting 22 million beneficiary families, who have been identified based on Extreme Poverty Eradication Acceleration Targeting (P3KE) data of the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture.

“The 22 million beneficiary families really need the assistance. Thus, this is a form of the presence of the state which pays attention to its people,” Adi said.

He emphasized that the assistance is not politically motivated. The agency is continuing to provide the aid even after elections to ease the burden on the people.

Adi invited all parties to support the distribution of the rice assistance so that it can run smoothly and benefit the people.

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Translator: Muhammad Harianto, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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