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Jakarta Post

Stimulus should target ‘new poor’: World Bank

  • The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, April 9 2021   /  01:00 am
Recipients of social cash assistance await their turn at SD Kelapa Dua Wetan 01 Pagi state elementary school in Ciracas district, East Jakarta, on Wednesday. The Social Affairs Ministry has replaced staple food assistance with Rp 300,000 (US$21.38) cash assistance.(JP/P.J. Leo)

While expanding cash assistance to poor households, the Indonesian government must target people who have lost jobs and incomes during the economic recession caused by the pandemic, according to World Bank economists. Aaditya Mattoo, World Bank’s chief economist for East Asia and the Pacific, said the pandemic resulted in "new poor" from hard-hit sectors such as transportation, hospitality, retail and trade, some of whom might not be covered by the cash transfer or other in-kind transfer programs. Although Indonesia’s support last year provided a meaningful boost amid the pandemic-induced downturn, the government is expected to channel support to the workers in the worst-hit sectors. “One of the problems of Indonesia’s social security setup, while it is great at covering the lower income segments, there is this middle-income segme...