A slum area in Bandan Kampong, Jakarta. (Source: ANTARA)

Jakarta (VNA)
- The World Bank (WB) has approved a loan of 300 million USD to accelerate poverty reduction and improve services in more than 66,000 villages in 380 districts across Indonesia.

This project will support villages to overcome differences in rural infrastructure and human capital. These two things will contribute to efforts to reduce poverty and boost economic growth in the future, said WB Country Director for Indonesia and Timor-Leste Rodrigo Chaves.

According to Chaves, Indonesia has been making progress in reducing poverty and inequality.

However, he continued, the difference in poverty rates in villages and cities is still relatively large, namely 13.2 percent in villages and 7 percent in cities, based on the 2018 data.

This is why now is the right time to make large-scale investments in strengthening the capacity of villages to use the budget that has been expanded effectively so that Indonesia can get the maximum benefit from these resources, he said.

Indonesia’s Central Bureau of Statistics revealed that the number of people living below the poverty line had dropped to 25.95 million or 9.82 percent of the population in March 2018, from 27.77 million or 10.64 percent of the population a year earlier.

The Indonesian Government has rolled out programmes on poverty reduction. Last year, the country allocated 60 trillion Rp (4.2 billion USD) to the Village Fund, up from 13 trillion Rp in 2017.-VNA