COVID-19 will push up Indonesia's poverty rate: VP

COVID-19 will push up Indonesia's poverty rate: VP

Vice President Ma'ruf Amin at his official residence in Jakarta on Tuesday (March 24, 2020). (ANTARA/HO-Asdep Komunikasi dan Informasi Publik (KIP) Setwapres)

Many people have lost (their) jobs and many food stalls have closed. So, the number of poor people has increased. Maybe, many people around us have also been affected by the coronavirus.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Vice President Ma'ruf Amin has predicted the country's poverty rate would increase amid the COVID-19 pandemic as policies to stem the spread of the virus result in job losses.

"Many people have lost (their) jobs and many food stalls have closed. So, the number of poor people has increased. Maybe, many people around us have also been affected by the coronavirus," he said here on Monday.

Ma'ruf Amin, who is also chief of the National Team for the Acceleration of Poverty Eradication (TNP2K), said the COVID-19 pandemic is not only impacting health, but also socio-economic conditions in the country.

"The COVID-19 (pandemic) we are experiencing has not only disrupted human health, but also affected social and economic life. The poverty rate has increased, if not doubled," he averred.

Under the medium-term national development plan (RPJMN) 2020-2024, the government has set itself the target of lowering the number of poor by up to 6.5-7 percent to 19.75-18.34 million by the end of 2024.

To help alleviate the financial burden on poor people in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has extended them social assistance, the Vice President noted.

In addition, the government also has disbursed assistance under the family hope program earlier than scheduled, he added. 

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