Social assistance helps lower poverty rate, says minister
The Jakarta Post
National Development Planning Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro has said the distribution of social assistance at the right time had helped decrease the poverty rate to 9.82 percent in May, the lowest poverty rate the country has ever recorded.
“This year, the President instructed relevant ministers to disburse the social assistance starting in January to the rightful recipients,” said Bambang, who is also head of the National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) in Jakarta on Tuesday.
Social assistance came in the form of cash aid for poor households, rice for the poor, non-cash food assistance, Healthy Indonesia Card (KIS), Jakarta Smart Card (KJP) and village funds.
Bambang explained the distribution of social assistance in 2017 failed to significantly reduce poverty because of the sluggish distribution.
“So when the people were surveyed, they said that they had not received the assistance. If they did not receive the assistance, it affected their spending,” he said.
The number of poor people declined by 1.82 million from March 2017 to March 2018, a decrease of 0.82 percent,” he added.
Previously, the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) announced that the number of poor people reached 25.95 million, 9.82 percent of the country’s population.
The agency recorded that the one-digit poverty rate was a new achievement. (bbn)
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