The issue of inequity
Indonesia – a nation of progress
Indonesia, a nation made up of some 17,500 islands, is the world’s fourth most populated country. Of the 255 million inhabitants, almost one-third are under the age of 18, and as the population grows by some 3 million each year the predominance of children and young people in Indonesian society is increasingly apparent.
Indonesia is considered as a Middle Income Country, with its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rising by between 5 and 6 per cent each year over the last ten years. Despite the global economic crisis experienced by many nations, Indonesia has witnessed steady economic growth in the last few years.
Indonesia – a nation of challenges
Against this background, many Indonesian families have not benefited from this progress. While poverty levels have fallen consistently since 1998, it is estimated that as many as half of the population still live below, or dangerously close to, the national poverty line – these families are acutely vulnerable to economic or social shocks.
The disparities affecting Indonesia also impact on basic indicators, and reflect social and geographic inequities. For example, the infant mortality rate in West Nusa Tenggara province is 57 deaths for every 1,000 live births, more than two times that of Yogyakarta province. Under-five and infant mortality rates amongst the poorest households are generally more than twice those in the highest income families. Nearly two-thirds of the poorest families in Java and Bali still have access to clean water, but less than 10 per cent of similar families in Papua enjoy such access. Almost half of children from poor families do not enrol in junior secondary schools, contributing to the high drop-out rates after primary level education.
These are the disparities that UNICEF Indonesia has committed to addressing, as part of its five year programme of cooperation with the Government of Indonesia.