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Bappenas Set to Start Free Lunch Program in 2025

8 May 2024 12:05 WIB

TEMPO.CO, JakartaThe National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) announced that the free lunch program will start running in 2025. The agency’s deputy for Human, Community, and Cultural Development (PMMK), Amich Alhumami, said the government has allocated the budget for President-elect Prabowo Subianto's flagship program.

“We have considered and analyzed it (the budget) at approximately Rp20,000 to Rp21,000 per child,” Amich told Tempo at his office on Tuesday, May 7.

He explained that this budget was higher than the government's previous estimate of Rp15,000 per child after considering the nutritional value of the meals. The free lunch menu will be varied and include milk.

The echelon I official compared the budget for such a free lunch program in several countries. “In India and China, if the budget is converted into rupiah, it amounts to Rp20,000 to Rp21,000, and it (the meal) is ready for consumption,” he added.

Amich explained that in determining the program budget, the price index in each region was taken into account, and the budget was the average figure. "But the implementation can be different."

Amich also confirmed that the program's targets during the initial stages will be students of early childhood education centers (PAUD), elementary schools, Islamic boarding schools, and similar levels. Children who do not attend formal schools were not listed among the program's targets.

Based on the Prabowo-Gibran vision and mission document, the free lunch and free milk program for school children in Indonesia covers more than 82 million students. The 100 percent coverage of this program is expected to reach by 2029.

SAVERO ARISTIA WIENANTO

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