Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Social Affairs Ministry will continue to reduce the poverty rate to below nine percent, in accordance with the national poverty line target set by President Joko Widodo.

"He (the President) has ordered that the poverty line must be further cut to below nine percent," new Social Affairs Minister, Juliari Peter Batubara, said here on Thursday.
The new minister is determined to meet the target despite the challenges of the globalization era.

"This is not easy, but it would be a record if we manage to suppress the national poverty line to below nine percent," he said.

The PDIP politician is upbeat about achieving the target, which is the lowest ever.

The target is also in accordance with the government's programs to improve the development of human resources and to create more job opportunities, as well as to increase economic growth.

"I think we in the cabinet must make sure that our programs are in line with the President's vision and mission," he remarked.

He said his ministry will also focus on providing humanitarian aid for the victims of disasters, including the earthquake in Maluku and the recent blood riot in Wamena, Papua.

"Certainly, every disaster must be covered by us," the former legislator said.

Batubara was initiated into the cabinet by President Jokowi on Wednesday.

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Translator: M Zulfikar, Fardah
Editor: Sri Haryati
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