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Jokowi rolls out social assistance with Sri Sultan HB X in Yogyakarta

Tempo - January 30, 2024

Daniel A. Fajri, Jakarta – President Joko Widodo or Jokowi handed over rice assistance from the government's rice reserves (CBP) at the Bulog Purwomartani warehouse in Sleman Regency, Yogyakarta on Monday, January 29. He said the aid was given in response to the surge in rice prices due to crop failures in almost all countries.

"We provide aid in January, February, March, April, May, and June. If the APBN (state budget) is efficient, we can continue it again [until July]," the President said as quoted from a press statement released by the Presidential Secretariat on Monday evening, January 29.

The state head was accompanied by the National Food Agency chief Arief Prasetyo Adi, Yogyakarta Governor Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, and Sleman Regent Kustini Sri Purnomo.

In his speech, he explained that the crop failure was caused by climate change, forcing 22 countries to stop exporting rice and prioritize the commodity for their domestic needs. He thus encouraged farmers to increase rice productivity so that the supply of rice would be abundant and prices would fall.

In 2024, the number of beneficiaries increased to 22 million from 21.3 million in 2023.

Jokowi visited the Yogyakarta Kilen Palace or the residence of Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono at the Jogja Palace complex on Sunday, January 28. He said on Monday that they discussed the global and national situations during the meeting.

The distribution of social assistance in the political year sparked controversy as it was seen as influencing the upcoming presidential election, as Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto and Jokowi's eldest son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, are running for the presidency.

Ari Dwipayana, Coordinator of Presidential Special Staff, stressed on Monday that the social assistance program was the government's affirmative policy funded by the state budget to respond to the effects of El Nino and high food prices.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1827566/jokowi-rolls-out-social-assistance-with-sri-sultan-hb-x-in-yogyakart