Jakarta (ANTARA) - The government is optimistic that Indonesia will be free from extreme poverty next year, according to Main Expert Staff at the Presidential Staff Office (KSP) Abraham Wirotomo.

He delivered the statement after visiting the Social Affairs Ministry's Pangudi Luhur social center in Bekasi, West Java, with Social Affairs Minister Tri Rismaharini and University of Indonesia sociologist Imam Prasodjo.

"Today, we see the proof that social assistance is not the only program of the Social Affairs Ministry, as they also have an amazing program where residents with extreme poverty, scavengers, the homeless, and the elderly who are economically struggling receive free accommodation ... and receive training programs to increase their income," Wirotomo said here on Monday.

Highlighting that almost all social center residents have seen their income double after attending the center's programs, the expert staff expressed confidence that Indonesia will be free from extreme poverty by next year.

The national extreme poverty rate in 2022 was recorded at 1.7 percent, down from 3 percent the previous year. The government is targeting to bring the rate to zero next year.

To achieve the goal, the government is seeking to implement three strategies: alleviating burden, increasing income, and reducing poverty pockets, he said.

"This is akin to a universal war, as all ministries are exerting their effort to reduce the poverty rate," Wirotomo said.

Meanwhile, Minister Rismaharini said that Bekasi's Pangudi Luhur social center allows residents to bring their families to stay and access several social services.

Despite having increased their income above the World Bank's US$1.9-per-day extreme poverty income threshold, some of the families in the social center remain vulnerable because of homelessness, she said.

"This means a lot of residents can leave (the center). However, they are extremely vulnerable because they cannot buy a home in Jakarta or its surrounding areas," Rismaharini explained.

The minister noted that a flat in the social center complex, whose monthly rent is set at a token price of Rp10 thousand (US$0.6), can help ensure that residents do not become homeless. Business space is also being provided to help them open new businesses, she added.

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Translator: Devi Nindy Sari R, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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