Social protection programs have helped reduce poverty: Indrawati

Social protection programs have helped reduce poverty: Indrawati

A screenshot of Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati at the 'Our APBN' press conference in Jakarta on Wednesday (July 21, 2021). (ANTARA/Agatha Olivia/Uyu)

We (the government) will continue to recover not only our economy, but also social welfare.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Finance Minister (Menkeu) Sri Mulyani Indrawati has said that social protection programs (perlinsos) implemented amid the pandemic for National Economic Recovery (PEN) have succeeded in reducing poverty levels in Indonesia.

“Our (Indonesia’s) poverty rate has declined because of the recovery program,” she noted at the 'Our State Budget (APBN)' press conference in Jakarta on Wednesday.

The poverty rate climbed from 9.22 percent in September, 2019 to 10.19 percent in September, 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19, the minister noted.

However, the rate fell 0.05 percent to 10.14 percent in March, 2021.

According to the data from Central Statistics Agency (BPS), in September, 2020, 27.55 million people were living in poverty, while the number fell to 27.54 million in March, 2021.

Earlier, the World Bank had predicted that poverty in Indonesia would rise to 11.2 percent in 2021.

Related news: Indonesia's poverty rate reduction possible through Java-centric cut

“We (the government) will continue to recover not only our economy, but also social welfare,” remarked Indrawati.

The government has allocated Rp187.84 trillion for PEN social protection programs in 2021, meanwhile Rp220 trillion has been distributed under the programs since 2020, she said.

Furthermore, the open unemployment rate (TPT) also fell as the economy started to recover, reflected by higher consumption, public faith, investment, export, as well as government’s spending, she added.

The PEN program created employment opportunities for 1.02 million people, which led to a 0.81-percent fall in the TPT from 7.07 percent in August, 2020 to 6.26 percent in February, 2021.

According to BPS, the TPT was higher among men than the women. The unemployment rate among women was 5.41 percent, meanwhile among men, the rate was 6.81 percent.

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