In order to enhance the effectiveness and accuracy in the distribution of social assistance as well as to promote inclusive finance, the president of the Republic of Indonesia has instructed that social assistances and subsidies must be distributed in non-cash form. The previous food subsidy program, namely Rastra Subsidy, had been transformed into non-cash food assistance (BPNT) in 2017 in 44 selected cities. At the end of 2019, Food Social Assistance program in all regencies/cities was implemented by using a non-cash scheme or by implementing BPNT program using electronic cards directly to the beneficiaries. BPNT was distributed to beneficiaries through the banking system, which could be used subsequently for buying rice and/or eggs from e-Warong, allowing beneficiaries to have more balanced nutrition.
In 2020, Non-Cash Food Assistance (BNPT) Program was further transformed into the Sembako Program, in order to strengthen social protection and improve the effectiveness of food social assistance programs. By launching the Sembako program, the index of assistance would be increased and the types of commodity that can be acquired are expanded, so as not only cover rice and eggs as the case was with the BNPT program. This constitutes the Government’s effort to provide access for the beneficiaries to different staple food with different nutrition.