Govt Intervention Needed to Suppress Poverty Rate Amid Pandemic

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Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • People do their activities in a slum on the banks of Ciliwung River in Manggarai, Jakarta, Wednesday, April 15, 2020. ANTARA FOTO/M Risyal Hidayat

    People do their activities in a slum on the banks of Ciliwung River in Manggarai, Jakarta, Wednesday, April 15, 2020. ANTARA FOTO/M Risyal Hidayat

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Not only has the COVID-19 pandemic taken its toll on Indonesia’s economy, but it has also affected the sustainable development goals (SDGs), which, according to the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), will affect the employment aspect and the goal to reduce inequality. 

    “If we don’t intervene [in this matter], the poverty rate in 2020 could reach 10.54 percent. But if we intervene, the poverty rate will be able to be suppressed to 9.24,” said Bappenas deputy of maritime and human resources Arifin Rudiyanto in today’s official release. 

    He asserted the middle class would need to be provided with governmental aid to prevent them from falling into poverty.  

    The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) recorded that Indonesia’s poverty level in September 2019 was 9.22 percent, which covered around 24.79 million people. This was deemed a reduction compared to March 2019, which saw a drop of 0.44 percent compared to that of September 2018.

    Meanwhile, the SMERU Research Institute in its latest research on the possible future poverty rate due to the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the figure could rise to 9.7 percent in March 2020, which constitutes 1.3 million people.

    The study projects that the worst-case scenario could see Indonesia’s poverty rate jump to 12.4 percent with 8.5 million new poor residents as the total population increases to 33.24 million.

    FAJAR PEBRIANTO