Jakarta (ANTARA) - The provision of the Village Fund has boosted the coverage of village development programs in Indonesia, Minister of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration (PDTT) Abdul Halim Iskandar, has said.

At a press conference here on Thursday, Iskandar informed that development activities have been carried out in villages since the government started to allocate the Village Fund in 2015.

According to him, in 2008, only 30 percent of villages in Indonesia received affirmation funds for village development from the central government.

He noted that the percentage of villages carrying out development rose to 54 percent in 2011 due to the National Program for Independent Rural Community Empowerment, and the figure rose again to reach 87 percent in 2014.

"And in 2015–2023, 100 percent of the villages carry out development with Village Fund," he highlighted.

He said that the Village Fund ceiling for 2023 has been set at Rp68 trillion (around US$4.54 billion) and as of June 19, 2023, Rp30.97 trillion (around US$2.06 billion) of the fund has been distributed to 72,620 villages.

At least Rp3.88 trillion (around US$259.26 million) of the Village Fund has been specifically allotted for providing cash assistance (BLT). The Village Fund BLT is targeting 2.75 million beneficiary families spread across 71,984 villages.

The minister said that the 2023 Village Fund has been used for efforts to improve village economies.

The fund has so far been used to build or repair 1,399 kilometers of roads, bridges spanning a total length of 6,269 meters, 34 village markets, 13 ponds, 248 units of irrigation, 22 village-owned enterprises (BUMDes), 9 boat mooring units, and 326 units of retaining walls.

In addition, the Village Fund has been used to improve the quality of life of village residents.

As per records, the fund has been utilized for building 143 sports facilities, 3,393 clean water facilities, 457 wells, 730 toilets, and drainage systems spanning a total length of 136,430 meters.

It has also been used to support the provision of services at 149 early childhood education schools, 150 integrated health posts (posyandus), and 1,396 village maternity centers (polindes).

Iskandar affirmed that the government is assisting in and supervising the utilization of the Village Fund to ensure the programs and activities benefit village residents.

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Translator: Zubi Mahrofi, Raka Adji
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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