We will continue to assist for six months
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Social Affairs stated that as of Wednesday, 2,707 beneficiary families (KPMs) from the Nusantara Economic Hero (PENA) Program are ready to graduate from extreme poverty.

The PENA program is an empowerment program for beneficiary recipients that focuses on empowering housewives from pre-prosperous families through training that supports entrepreneurship in the fields of food, beverage, service and trade, daily necessities, and others.

"Before the aid, the average earnings of KPMs was Rp1.5 million, but now, the figure has risen by 46.48 percent to Rp2.3 million, almost nearing the Regional Minimum Wage," the ministry's official, Don Rozano Sigit, noted here, Wednesday.

"This means that they are ready to graduate from extreme poverty," he remarked.

To this day, 72 percent of PENA's recipients are women with home-based businesses.

The biggest business cluster is food and beverage, with 57.97 percent, followed by service, 25.05 percent; animal farming, 7.56 percent; crafts, 5.15 percent; and agriculture, 4.25 percent.

He stressed that the issue of extreme poverty cannot solely be resolved through social aid. Hence, he ensures that every KPM, who will graduate, will not return to become social aid recipients.

"Not all of them can graduate, but we have to ensure that they truly will not return to become social aid recipients because we are not only focusing on those who have businesses but also those who do not," he remarked.

He noted that training will be conducted for young designers to create packaging and brand, so that KPMs, who already graduated, can compete in the digital world.

The total funding allocated for the poverty alleviation program through PENA reached Rp49 billion, while Rp9 billion was allocated for entrepreneurship. Regarding these funds, the ministry routinely conducts evaluation, he noted.

"We will continue to assist for six months. After six months, we will conduct evaluation, and in July, we will graduate KPMs that exist in the ministry," he stated.

Sigit expects that this program can continue and become sustainable, and that the KPMs can utilize it well.

Related news: Create employment opportunities to lower extreme poverty: Minister
Related news: Minister targets extreme poverty to reach zero percent by 2024
Related news: Widodo confident extreme poverty to drop drastically by 2024

Translator: Lintang B P, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Sri Haryati
Copyright © ANTARA 2023