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Jakarta Post

Poverty rate hits three-year high

  • Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman

    The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta   /   Wed, February 17, 2021   /  06:34 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Grim: People in a low-income area relax near railway tracks in the area of Pintu Air Karet, Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta, in this undated photo.(JP/P.J. Leo)

The pandemic has pushed 2.76 million more Indonesians into poverty, bringing the country’s poverty rate to the highest level since March 2017. Amid soaring job losses and business closures last year, the number of citizens living below the poverty line reached 27.55 million in September 2020, up significantly from 24.79 million a year earlier, according to data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS). As a result, the poverty rate climbed to 10.19 percent from 9.22 percent over the same period. “Although there was an increase in the number of poor people because of COVID-19, the increase in Indonesia was not as severe as predicted, thanks to various social protection programs,” BPS head Suhariyanto said in a virtual press conference on Monday. He cited the government’s social aid programs and the preemployment card program, which combines social assistance with u...