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Ranks of the Poor Swell by 1.63M in Indonesia Due in Part to Coronavirus Pandemic

July 16, 2020, 02.05 AM

JAKARTA, – In a span of six months, Indonesia added 1.63 million into the ranks of its people below the poverty line, based on comparative figures from September 2019 and March 2020.

The country is now home to 26.42 million impoverished Indonesians or around 9.78 percent of the population based on data from Statistics Indonesia.

Head of Statistics Indonesia Suhariyanto said that government lockdown to scale back the spread of the Covid-19 virus contributed to the spike in impoverished Indonesians.

Read also: Coronavirus Pandemic Seen Pushing Up to 5 Million Indonesian Workers Out of Jobs

Economic activities were hurt, which in turn, crippled Indonesians' ability to make a living.

Suhariyanto said that the coronavirus pandemic has hurt all levels of society economically, especially those in the lower-class.

According to a social demographic survey by Statistics Indonesia, low-income households experienced a 70-percent drop in their earnings.

Read also: Manpower Minister Ida Fauziyah Promises 5.6 Million Jobs for Indonesians

Indonesians who fall under the higher income group, or those earning more than Rp 7.2 million, report a 30-percent drop in earning during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The coronavirus pandemic has battered all levels in society and the impact is mostly felt by those in the lower class,” said Suhariyanto.

Suhariyanto added that household consumption has also weakened during the pandemic.

Moreover, the tourism sector played a significant role in driving up the number of impoverished Indonesians during the start of the pandemic.

“Even though Covid-19 cases were announced in Indonesia in March, the tourism sector had already been affected by February. This was based on the drop in tourist arrivals which had a domino effect for those working for hotels, accommodations, and craft makers,” said Suhariyanto. 

(Writer: Mutia Fauzia | Editor: Erlangga Djumena) 


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