Jakarta. The Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly increased the poverty rate in Indonesia if we look into figures from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS). Government data shows that the poverty rate in Indonesia had risen to 10.14 percent, or 27.54 million people, by March 2021. Prior to the pandemic, the figure was lower at 9.22 percent as of Sep. 2019.
On top of the pandemic response in the healthcare sector, the government is also promoting social safety net programs such as working capital and/or investment loans to help micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), empowerment of village-owned enterprises (Bumdes), as well as other social and financial assistance programs to prevent the community from falling further into poverty during the pandemic.
The poverty rate has since fallen slightly to 26.16 million people by March 2022 – down by 1.38 million people since March 2021.
However, when compared to conditions before the Covid-19 pandemic, this figure is still much higher. Rural areas remain the most poverty-stricken, with 14.34 million people below the poverty line.
Many communities in Indonesia, in general, are currently still struggling to escape poverty due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Papua, West Papua, and East Nusa Tenggara are still the areas with the highest poverty rates.