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Mid-term Indonesia Human Development Report released

Voice of America - September 10, 1997

Indonesians living in the Eastern part of the country are more likely to die at birth; not be able to read; and have no access to safe water than their fellow indonesians living on the islands of Java and Sumatra, according to a new government report. Jenny Grant reports from Jakarta.

The Central Bureau of Statistics and the United Nations Development Program released the Mid-term Indonesia Human Development Report here Monday.

Eastern provinces – such as West Nusa Tenggara and the disputed territory of East Timor – scored the lowest of any provinces in a number of development areas.

Eastern Indonesia includes all islands East of Java, from the resort island, Bali, to Irian Jaya, which shares a border with Papua New Guinea.

While life expectancy for a Jakartan is 79-point-three years, it is only 53-point-six years for someone living on the West Nusa Tengarra Islands of Lombok or Sumbawa. The average life expectancy of an East Timorese is only 60-point-two years.

The former Portuguese territory East Timor scored the lowest of Indonesia's 27 claimed provinces on the human development index scale.

The H-D-I measures development by life expectancy, education and per capita consumption.

Director General of the Bureau of Statistics Sugito Suwito acknowledges the East-West split, but made no effort to explain it.

H-D-I'S are remarkably high in Jakarta, Yogyakarta and North Sulawesi, and are low in East Timor, West Nusa Tenggara and Irian Jaya.

East Timor has the lowest standard of education – only 38- point-five percent of its people have had basic education – and the lowest per capita consumption.

Fifty-four-point-seven percent of East Timorese adults are illiterate and 31-point-two percent of Irianese adults also cannot read or write.

The infant mortality rate in Jakarta is 20 for every one thousand live births. in West Nusa Tenggara, 75 out of every one thousand babies born die at birth. in East Timor it is 65.

The capital Jakarta ranked number one on the development scale.

Most of Indonesia's population, industry and fertile farming lands are concentrated on Java and Sumatra. Fifty five percent of Indonesia's 200 million people live on Java.

Eastern Indonesia is generally drier, with less fertile soil but huge mineral reserves.