The Jakarta Post
Economists and researchers are calling on the government to swiftly and accurately disburse its social aid for the underprivileged to prevent a sharp increase in the poverty rate as the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to hit the economy hard.
Center of Reform on Economics (CORE) Indonesia director Mohammad Faisal estimated on Monday that the poverty rate could jump beyond 10 percent, perhaps even to 15 percent, of the population from the current 9.22 percent if the government was late in rolling out aid for the poor. He compared the situation with the 1998 financial crisis when the poverty rate leaped to around 24 percent.
“We worry that if unemployment and poverty increase, it could cause social unrest because of people’s anxiety and hunger,” Faisal told The Jakarta Post. “If we’re not careful in handling this, it could lead to unrest and crime.”