Jakarta (ANTARA) - The number of Village Fund recipient villages has decreased by 7 to reach 74,954, Minister of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration (PDTT), Abdul Halim Iskandar, has said.

"In accordance with the Finance Minister’s Regulation No. 201 of 2022, the Village Fund was initially allocated to 74,961 villages," he informed in a statement issued on Friday.

"However, there are 7 villages that have not received the Village Fund due to various factors," he added.

There are several villages that have not received the Village Fund due to various reasons, including at the recommendation of the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) because the villages do not exist and because they have been removed from the registered list by the Home Affairs Ministry.

The 7 villages that have not received the Village Fund include 2 villages affected by the Sidoarjo mudflow in East Java, namely Renokenongo and Kedungbendo.

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"There is also Kanekes village in Lebak Banten. This is because culturally, they cannot yet accept the presence of a Village Fund," the minister said.

In relation to Kenekes village, he noted that his ministry has tried to disseminate the importance of the Village Fund for development in the village.

There is also Alur Jambu village in Tamiang Aceh that has not received the Village Fund because it is a plantation area.

The remaining villages comprise Wanarejo in South Kalimantan; Baturaja in Aceh; and Misabugoid in West Papua.

The minister informed that the ceiling for the 2023 Village Fund has been set at Rp68 trillion or around US$4.52 billion. As of June 19, a total of Rp30.97 trillion or around US$2.06 billion from the Village Fund has been distributed to 72,620 villages.

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Meanwhile, the total amount of the Village Fund distributed specifically for direct cash assistance (BLT) has reached Rp3.88 trillion or around US$258.10 million and is meant for 2.75 million benefit recipient families (KPMs) in 71,984 villages.

He also highlighted the 2023 Village Fund Program's accomplishments, specifically in supporting the village economy.

The accomplishments have comprised the construction and repair of 1,399 kilometers of roads, the building of a 6,269-meter bridge, 34 village market units, 13 retention units, 248 irrigation units, 9 boat mooring units, and 326 land anchoring units, and 22 Village-Owned Enterprises (BUMDes) activities.

Meanwhile, the use of the Village Fund to improve villagers' quality of life has involved the construction of 143 sports facility units, 3,393 clean water units, and 730 toilet units, and 149 Early Childhood Education activities.

The fund has also been utilized for setting up 150 integrated health post (posyandu) units, 1,396 village maternity hut (polindes) units, and laying 136,430 m of drainage and 457 wells.

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Translator: Zubi Mahrofi, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Jafar M Sidik
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