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Household incomes 78.9% lower during early pandemic period: survey

Antara News - December 10, 2021

Juwita Trisna Rahayu, Jakarta – Household incomes were 78.9 percent lower during the period from October to November 2020 in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey released on Friday. "2020 was not an easy year for households.

Three in four households experienced an income decline," the main researcher at the SMERU Research Institute, Asep Suryahadi said while presenting the IVR Report UNICEF: The Socio-Economic Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic on Households in Indonesia online from here on Friday.

The survey conducted by the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), PROSPERA, and the SMERU Research Unit covered 2,400 households across 34 provinces of Indonesia, he informed.

The result showed that household incomes were 78.9 percent lower in October and November 2020, 60.5 percent lower in December 2020, and 53.4 percent lower in January 2021, he said.

"Half the households lost half of their incomes. They did not have savings to survive, so they (resorted to) other strategies, such as selling their assets and borrowing money from their families," Suryahadi informed.

In addition, the survey revealed that one in 10 breadwinners had to move from their workplace and switch to the informal sector, he said.

Half of them faced income fluctuation during the three periods (October-November, December, and January) and they also faced a concurrent food spending and income decrease, he added.

"Most of them also experienced food insecurity. Households facing moderate to severe food insecurity touched almost 12 percent," he noted.

On the occasion, UNDP Indonesia Deputy Resident Representative Shopie Kemkhadze said the survey was an eye-opener for all parties and underlined the need to take action.

"The study has grown concerns among all of us since it clearly portrays challenges that households face," she highlighted.

"The survey offers some recommendations for policy-making, including social assistance sustainability, especially for households with children, enhancing workers' protection, and ensuring access to health services," she added.

Meanwhile, the Finance Minister's special staff on fiscal policy formulation and macro-economy, Masysita Crystallin, said that follow-up studies are required to provide more comprehensive results pertaining to social assistance.

"Further studies are expected to be conducted to present more profound information and effective mechanism on social assistance for the public," she remarked.

Source: https://en.antaranews.com/news/204001/household-incomes-789-lower-during-early-pandemic-period-surve