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Jakarta Post

EDITORIAL: Breaking the poverty cycle

  • EDITORIAL

    The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Tue, February 28, 2017   /  08:33 am
EDITORIAL: Breaking the poverty cycle Vivianti, 35, lives with her husband and their twin sons Kevan and Kevin, 2, in the shack under the Tomang-Pluit toll road in Pejagalan. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

Talk about “the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer” has been heard since the era of former president Soeharto. However, this time the outcry over rising inequality has grown louder. A total of five presidents have been elected since Soeharto stepped down in 1998, but inequality and poverty remains unabated. In its latest report released last week, international group Oxfam said that despite rapid growth in gross domestic product (GDP), at an average rate of 5 percent since 2000, Indonesia’s poverty reduction has slowed to a near standstill. Based on the World Bank’s “moderate” poverty line of US$3.10/day, about 93 million Indonesians are classified as poor. To illustrate the yawning gap, Oxfam says the four richest men in Indonesia own as much wealth as the country’s poorest 100 million citizens, despite the national leader&rsq...