Indonesia to provide more cash handouts to mitigate risk of rising food prices

JAKARTA (Reuters): Indonesia will provide additional cash handouts for three months covering January, February and March to mitigate the risk of rising food prices, its chief economic minister said on Monday.

The government has allocated about 11.25 trillion rupiah (US$711.8 million) for the programme and the handouts will be given to 18.8 million families, minister Airlangga Hartarto told a press conference.

Each family will receive 200,000 rupiah (US$12.65) for each of those months.

"The programme will last until March. After that, we will evaluate," Airlangga said.

In November 2023, the government extended for six months its rice handout scheme until June 2024, a programme that provides 10 kg (22.05 lb) of rice monthly to 22 million lower-income households to help them cope with high prices of the staple.

The government also provided a two-month cash handout for millions of household of 400,000 rupiah ($25.28) per family for November and December 2023.

Indonesia's inflation was 2.61% at the end of 2023, within the central bank's target range. (US$1 = 15,805.0000 rupiah)

(Reporting by Stefanno Sulaiman; Editing by Martin Petty) - Reuters

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