Poverty reduction in Papua and West Papua ‘on the right track’

Papua and West Papua, as well as fourteen other provinces in Indonesia made significant progress in reducing poverty levels.

It is far outpacing the national average and making it possible for Indonesia to reduce its overall poverty rate to 8-10 percent by 2014 as targeted, a senior minister says.

National Development Planning Minister Armida S. Alisjahbana said Tuesday (03/01) that despite the country’s relatively high poverty rate of 12.36 percent, several regions, including Gorontalo, Maluku, Papua and West Papua, achieved progressive reductions in their poverty levels over the last five years.

During the last five years, she said, the patterns of poverty rate reductions among the provinces was quite different.

“We have regions that can achieve progressive decline, but in some regions it is not convincing,” she told a press conference at the National Development Planning Ministry office.

According to the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), the Indonesia’s poverty rate dropped by 5.26 percent over the 2006-2011 period.

As of September 2011, the number of poor people reached 29.89 million people, or 12.36 percent of total population.

“With this progressive decline in poverty rates over the last five years, we are optimistic we can reduce the poverty rate to 10.5-11.5 percent by 2012 and between 8-10 percent by 2014,” said Armida.

The 16 provinces that outperformed the national average were Aceh, Bengkulu, Central Java, Central Sulawesi, East Java, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), Gorontalo, Lampung, South East Sulawesi, South Sumatera, South Sulawesi, Papua, West Kalimantan, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), West Papua and West Sulawesi.

Of the total 16 provinces, Gorontalo had the highest reduction rate at 10.38 percent, while West Java had the lowest as its poverty reduction reached only 3.84 percent over the last five years.

Prasetijono Widjojo Malajudo, the minister’s deputy on economic affairs, said that pro-poor plans and budgets, as well as activities that might contribute to the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), had helped Papua and other provinces to achieve progressive declines in their poverty levels over the last five years.

He said 29 regencies and municipalities were now piloting pro-poor planning and budgeting, a program conducted by the National Team of Accelerating Poverty Reduction (TNP2K).

“Pro-poor planning and budgeting is a program that allows governments to keep their consistency both in the budgeting process and using the allocated budget to finance activities in priority areas, namely reducing poverty and unemployment,” he said, adding that by applying such planning and budgeting methods, local governments could monitor whether they were effectively delivering programs to targeted poverty pockets.

Source: The Jakarta Post

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