Indonesia President Joko Widodo’s administration will be distributing nine staple foods and cash to people as the capital city of Jakarta prepares for its large-scale social distancing measures — or pembatasan social berskala besar (PSBB) — effective tomorrow (10 April).
The government will distribute food and cash aid to lower-income people and workers at informal sectors such as ojek — or motorcycle-taxi — riders affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The pandemic has forced the closure of schools, public places and offices, leading to the decline in their daily income as they are not allowed to carry passengers in the upcoming PSBB measure.
“The aid distributed includes a package of nine staple foods, cloth face masks and soap prepared by the Region Pasar Jaya (city-owned market operator) with the tight packaging to ensure the goods’ hygiene,” said the Jakarta Social Affairs Office in a written statement.
As many as 2,600,000 Jakarta residents will receive sembako aid worth Rp 600,000 per month for three months. The government has prepared Rp 2.2 trillion for this program.
Residents of Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi-all cities in West Java that are close to Jakarta-will receive Rp 600,000 per month for three months.
For residents outside the Greater Jakarta area, the government will distribute direct cash aid to nine million households who have yet to receive staple foods assistance under the Program Keluarga Harapan, or the Family Hope Programme.
In a press conference at the Merdeka Palace on Thursday (9 April), the president said that the total budget allocated for the aid distribution had reached Rp 16.2 trillion.
In the meantime, around nine million people will be eligible for bantuan langsung tunai, or direct cash aid, from the government.
Minister of Social Affairs Juliari P. Batubara said that the figures are still being reviewed.