The government is working to reduce inequality between cities and villages by accelerating infrastructure development throughout the nation.
Instead of focusing its efforts on only the island of Java, the development “cake” is being spread to other islands, including remote and isolated regions.
National Development Agency (Bappenas) head Bambang Brodjonegoro said that addressing inequality between cities and villages had become a central focus of the government.
“The nation’s growth hasn’t been followed by a flattening out of the economy and welfare. That is why the government will focus on reducing inequality,” Bambang said, during the recent Forum Merdeka Barat 9 media gathering event at the Communication and Information Ministry, as quoted by tribunnews.com.
Improving equality between villages and cities is particularly important, as statistics indicate more and more people are flooding into cities as the years go by. In 2010, the percentage of the nation’s population that lived in cities was 49.8 percent. That number increased to 53.3 percent in 2015.
People are leaving villages because of a lack of opportunities and standard of living compared to cities. The poverty rate in villages sits at 13.96 percent, nearly twice the rate recorded in cities, which sits at 7.7 percent, according to data from kompas.com.
As such, developing strategies to reduce poverty in villages is a priority for the government, as it seeks to places villages on a more equal footing to cities.
Since 2015, the government has consistently increased its allocation of funding for villages. In 2015, this allocation was Rp 20.76 trillion. In 2016, it doubled to Rp 46.98 trillion. In 2017, the government allocated more than Rp 60 trillion for village funding.