Two million children to become poverty-stricken sans social aid

Two million children to become poverty-stricken sans social aid

Illustration -Several children gathered at their home in Pemulung, Central Sulawesi. ANTARA PHOTO/Mohamad Hamzah

The child poverty rate may increase
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Over two million Indonesian children would be plunged into poverty if the government halted social assistance to poor households in 2021, according to a survey.

"The child poverty rate may increase. UNICEF has forecast that more than two million Indonesian children would fall into poverty if social assistance for households were to be stopped in 2021," Deputy Director of the SMERU Research Institute Atia Yuma stated during an online discussion in Jakarta on Thursday.

Almost 30 percent of the 12,216 households surveyed are concerned about not being in a position to feed their families, Yuma remarked while quoting the result of a survey conducted by UNICEF, UNDP, Prospera, and SMERU Institute.

"Declining income and disrupted food supply system are the main factors leading to food vulnerability," he stated.

The survey conducted in October and November 2020 also found that 51.5 percent of the households had no savings that can be utilized as emergency fund. Meanwhile, 27.3 percent of them had pawned their goods.

Several children work to meet their daily needs in order to survive, he remarked.

"We also found an around seven percent increase in the number of children employed and nearly seven percent of the households having children employed and 2.5 percent of them have been employed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic," he pointed out.

The survey also showed that 57.3 percent of the parents faced difficulties in accessing internet connection, thereby resulting in 20.5 percent of the children experiencing problems in concentration in their studies. In fact, 12.9 percent of children can easily become irate.

Hence, SMERU suggested that the government will lend greater support to children in the form of social protection, health, and nutrition.

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