Illustration image (Source: city-data.com)

The number of Indonesians living in poverty reached 28.59 million, or 11.22 percent of the population, as of March 2015, up 860,000 people compared to September 2014, according to the country’s Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS).

Accordingly, 8.29 percent of the population in urban areas is living in poverty while the figure in rural areas was 14.21 percent.

The Papua and Maluku regions are home to the highest rate of impoverished Indonesians with 22 percent while the smallest number of poor people was in Kalimantan at 6.42 percent.

According to BPS, those who live below the poverty line are surviving on less than 330,776 Rp (25 USD) a month.

Current poverty alleviation programmes may not be enough to reduce the number of poor Indonesians, said BPS Director Suryamin.

Bringing the poverty level below 10 percent will require "special efforts" from the government, especially in the face of economic growth slowdown, rupiah devaluation and high inflationrate (7.2 percent).

Currently, the Indonesian government is assisting the poor by providing subsidised rice and government-sponsored housing as well as supporting small businesses with low-interest loans.-VNA