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Government will not provide additional social aid for COVID-19 hot spot provinces

Jakarta Post - September 17, 2020

Jakarta – The government will not provide additional social aid for the nine provinces hardest hit by COVID-19, economic recovery task force head Budi Gunadi Sadikin said on Wednesday.

Budi said social aid that had already been distributed by the Social Affairs Ministry was sufficient to help low-income families, including those who live in the nine provinces.

"We have faith in the consistency our friends in the Social Affairs Ministry have delivered," Budi said in a press conference on Wednesday.

The government is currently focused on flattening the COVID-19 infection curve in nine provinces with the highest transmission rates in the country: Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, East Java, North Sumatra, South Kalimantan, South Sulawesi, Papua and Bali.

These provinces have become the government's priority since they have contributed 75 percent of all COVID-19 cases in Indonesia.

"We believe that people in the prioritized provinces will be helped [by the existing programs]," Budi said.

As a response to COVID-19, the government prepared several social aid programs to assist low-income citizens who are hard hit by the outbreak's economic impact.

One of the schemes was the Staple Food Card program, which is aimed at 20 million lower-income families. The program has so far spent 63 percent of its Rp 43 trillion (US$2.8 billion) budget.

Aside from the Staple Food Card program, the government has also disbursed financial aid to 10 million low-income families through the Family Hope Program. The program has realized 77.9 percent of its Rp 37.4 trillion budget.

"We expect that the two programs will be able to achieve their targets by the end of the year," Budi said. (dpk)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/09/17/govt-will-not-provide-additional-social-aid-for-covid-19-hot-spot-provinces.html