'It's okay to be poor': Why fighting poverty remains challenging in Indonesia

phys.org | 6/6/2019 | Staff
jster97 (Posted by) Level 3
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Poverty remains an ingrained problem in Indonesia despite the country's success in cutting its poverty rate to a single-digit level for the first time in 2018.

As of September 2018, Indonesia's poverty rate stood at 9.66% of the total population. This means that around 25 million people live below the poverty line. Statistics Indonesia said that it was the lowest ever recorded. In September 2017, the poverty rate in September 2017 stood at 10.12%, around 26.58 million poor people.

Government - Cash - Benefits - Cards - Health

The government has been distributing cash and non-cash benefits like distributing cards for health benefits and food discounts to eradicate poverty in remote and urban areas. But in some provinces in Indonesia, poverty remains a challenge.

American anthropologist Clifford Geertz explained that poverty in Indonesia was related to the social and cultural tendency of low-income people to share. He found poor people in Java tend to share their limited assets among their relatives, a habit that makes them poorer as their families get bigger.

Line - Geertz - Finding - Research - Culture

In line with Geertz's finding, our latest research finds culture still plays a major role among Indonesia's poor, especially in Java. We find people's acceptance of poverty is the biggest obstacle to eradicating poverty in Yogyakarta and Banten, both on Indonesia's most populated Java island.

Yogyakarta, about 500 kilometres from Indonesia's capital Jakarta, is the poorest province on Java. Its poverty rate stands at 11.81%, higher the national figure.

Banten - Java - Westernmost - Province - Region

Banten, Java's westernmost province, is the sixth richest region. Its poverty rate stands at 5.26%. But, many people can't find jobs here after the harvest season. Last year, the unemployment rate after the harvesting period stood at 15.4%, higher than during the harvest season at 13.7%. People's lack of skills and education prevent them from getting other jobs outside agriculture.

My colleagues and I at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, conducted field research in Serang...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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