"This is a government`s commitment to lifting people in frontier areas from backwardness and poverty," Village and Backward Area Development and Transmigration Minister Eko Putro Sanjoyo said here on Thursday.
For the first time the government has brought a touch of modernity to border areas mainly in Kalimantan and Papua.
Currently , there are 41 district areas included in the category of frontier and outer regions or almost 10 percent of the country`s 434 district areas.
Village funds had been used in the 41 frontier district areas to build 9,510,202 meters of village access roads, 130,596 meters of bridges, 1,066 units of boat terminals, 1,445 Village Companies (BUMDes), 610 units of village market centers,680 units of retention basins, 1,289 units of sports facilities and irrigation projects.
Village funds have also been used to build 1,797 units of integrated public service centers (Posyandu), 1,003,041 meters of drainage system, 9,076 units public bath, and toilet facility (MCK),1,925 units Young Age Child Education (PAUD) facility, 18,140 units clean water supply facility, 4,792 units of embankment, 4,689 units of well, and 570 units of village maternity centers (Polindes).
"Almost all villages already have complete infrastructure. Therefore, village funds begin to be used for human resource development and economic sector," the Minister said.
He said the motive behind the village funds is to create equitable development and welfare .
Around 20 percent of village funds are set aside for villages in the backward and poor category and the remaining 80 percent were split between all villages, he said.
Poor and backward villages, therefore, have larger share of rural funds allowing them to catch up with other villages, he said.
Under the previous distribution system of rural funds most villages were left uncovered by the program, he said.
"During the first years of the Government of President Joko Widodo, Rp187 trillion of state budget have been set aside for village funds," the minister said.
He said he hoped the fund could be used properly for modernization of facilities and infrastructure in rural areas to lift the rural community from poverty and backwardness.
Reporting by Indriani
Editing by A Saragih, Andi Abdussalam