Starindonews.com-Minister of National Development Planning Suharso Monoarfa attended a virtual Limited Meeting, which discussed the Extreme Poverty Reduction Strategy, Wednesday (21/07/2021).
Minister Suharso said the extreme poor population increased by around 1.3 million people during the pandemic.
Based on study by Bappenas, as many as 42% heads of households with extreme poverty have an elementary school education, and 30% were not graduated from elementary school. In addition, most of the people with extreme poverty are under the age of 24 and are informal workers in the agricultural sector.
Minister Suharso proposed a regional-based strategy for eradicating extreme poverty in the form of integration of social assistance, basic services, and economic empowerment that includes MSMEs and vocational training.
On the occasion, the Minister also explained short-term steps needed to deal with Covid-19 to prevent a deeper level of poverty.
First, vaccination strategies and social restriction policies need to be compiled in a comprehensive and integrated manner including PPKM, implementation of strict health protocols and the National Vaccination Program to achieve 75% vaccination coverage.
Second, the provision of well-targeted social assistance to maintain the purchasing power of the poor and prevent a greater increase in poverty
Third, widening the fiscal space (deficit space) so that government intervention as a savior can be more flexible and accommodating, saving the crisis with wide intervention space in the short term is more priority than fiscal sustainability.
Fourth, a looser state spending policy (Government Spending Policy) to provide job opportunities and economic stimulus.
Closing his presentation, the Minister was optimistic that quick and accurate handling of the Covid-19 pandemic would prevent an increase in extreme poverty in Indonesia. ( Ari )