An overview of Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia (Illustrative image. Source: VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) –
The poverty rate in Indonesia declined to 9.8 percent, or nearly 26 million people, of the total population in March 2018 from 10.64 percent, or nearly 27.8 million people, in 2017, according to Indonesia’s Central Statistics Agency (BPS).

The ratio of people living under the poverty line in the east is still higher than that in the west.

BPS Head Kecuk Suhariyanto said the poverty rate in Indonesia in recent years has been on the downward trend, but remains a major challenge for the country, especially in the east.

Needy people make up over 21 percent of the population of Maluku and Papua provinces, 14 percent in Bali and Nusa Tenggara, 10.64 percent in Sulawesi.

Nearly 13.3 million poor people live in Java province while close to 6 million inhabit in Sumatra and over 2 million in Sulawesi.

Some infrastructure projects are being carried out in the eastern port of Indonesia, which is expected to help reduce the rate of poverty in the future.

The Indonesian government also pledged to spare no effort to reduce poverty and develop human resources in 2018 via increasing social allowances and village funds and expanding vocational training.

In 2018, Indonesia plans to spend 60 trillion Rupiah (4.2 billion USD) for village funds, up 13 trillion Rupiah against 2017.

Furthermore, the government will promote vocational training courses to help generate jobs for more people. In 2017, more than 6,200 people received vocational skills training.-VNA