Jakarta (ANTARA) - Varsities have an important role in eliminating extreme poverty, according to the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture (Kemenko PMK).

"Campuses have a lot of resources. We continue to collaborate with them to help eradicate extreme poverty," said Andie Megantara, the Secretary of Kemenko PMK, in a statement received on Wednesday.

The statement was issued following the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Kemenko PMK and Diponegoro University on education, research, and community service.

According to Statistics Indonesia, the poverty rate in Indonesia reached 9.36 percent in March 2023, a decrease of 0.18 percentage points from 9.54 percent in September 2022.

Meanwhile, the country's extreme poverty rate was recorded at 1.12 percent in March 2023, a decline of 0.62 percentage points from 1.74 percent in September 2022.

Megantara stated that the reduced poverty rate is the result of the government's efforts in the form of affirmative policies realized through budget allocation, improvement in data collection, and strengthened implementation based on a convergence approach.

"Efforts to reduce the poverty rate have been undertaken, but something is missing, namely the active involvement of varsities," he noted.

He emphasized that poverty is not only an economic issue, but a multidimensional one that includes sociological and cultural aspects, as well as the perspective of society.

Therefore, he urged varsities, which have significant human resources, to help find solutions to overcome poverty.

"The academic community can conduct research on poverty problems and participate in the real-work studies and the Merdeka Campus programs," he said.

Megantara also praised Diponegoro University's poverty alleviation efforts, including programs to empower early childhood care and education teachers, provide free meals for students, and scholarships for children of poor fishermen to study in the fisheries faculty.

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Translator: Asep F, Kenzu
Editor: Anton Santoso
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