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Jakarta Post

WB urges digitalization of COVID-19 aid programs

  • Marchio Irfan Gorbiano

    Jakarta

Jakarta   /   Fri, October 23 2020   /  01:00 am
Desperate times: Workers prepare government social assistance at a warehouse in Cipinang, East Jakarta on May 15, 2020. The packages contain staple food and basic commodities to be distributed to low-income families across the capital to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

The pandemic and its economic consequences have prompted many countries to scale up their social assistance programs through a strong, digitized government-to-person payment system, a World Bank official has said. “Countries that have advanced G2P [government-to-person] payment systems have been able to deliver cash to vulnerable people much faster and much safer than countries that don’t have such a system,” World Bank Indonesia and Timor Leste country director Satu Kahkonen said during a recent webinar. She cited Chile, which has used its national ID-linked bank accounts to deliver social support to about 2 million citizens during the pandemic, and Thailand, which used its national digital identification system to deliver emergency support to 15.3 million additional households during the pandemic. She said Indonesia had been able to scale up its social aid pr...