Number of poor Indonesians rose by 2.76 million amid pandemic

Jakarta The number of Indonesians living in poverty rose by 2.76 million to reach 27.55 million of the population in September 2020, from 24.79 million in September 2019 amid the pandemic, Central Statistics Agency (BPS) stated.

“The percentage of poor people increased by 0.97 percent to reach 10.19 percent, from 9.22 percent,” BPS Chief Suhariyanto noted during an online press conference here on Monday.

The hike in poverty rate due to the pandemic could be curbed owing to the government’s social protection programs, according to Suhariyanto.

Hence, despite an increase in the number of poor people, the figure was not as high as that projected by several international institutions, he pointed out.

Citing an example, Suhariyanto remarked that the World Bank in June 2020 had forecast the number of poor people due to the pandemic in Indonesia to increase to lie in the range of 10.7 percent to 11.6 percent in the absence of the government’s intervention.

“The increase in September 2020 was only 0.97 percent. This suggests that the various social protection programs that the government had launched during the pandemic have helped, especially people from the low-income group,” he remarked.

The coverage of social protection programs was raised to 60 percent, from 40 percent of the lower-income bracket, he revealed.

The government allotted Rp695.2 trillion in budget funding for the national economic recovery program (PEN) in 2020, while the funding realization reached 83.4 percent, or Rp579.78 trillion.

Of the total budget funding, Rp230.21 trillion was allocated for social protection programs, and the realization had reached Rp220.39 trillion.

The BPS computes the country’s poverty rate twice a year in March and September.

In March 2020, the number of Indonesians living in poverty stood at 26.42 million, or 9.78 percent of the total population.

The agency noted that the rise in poverty rate in urban areas was far higher than that in rural areas in September 2020. The urban poverty rate rose 1.32 percent to reach 7.88 percent, while the rural poverty rate increased by 0.60 percent to 13.20 percent as compared to September 2019.

The BPS also noted that the monthly per capita income in September 2020 stood at Rp458,947. This means the monthly per capita income of poor households in the country reached Rp2,216,714 on the assumption of each household size being 4.83.



Source: Antara News


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