Indonesia’s economy deeply impacted by COVID-19

13 Oct 21
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Caritas Indonesia-KARINA distributes PPE to vulnerable communities.

COVID-19 has affected Indonesia’s people and economy significantly over the past few months. The surge of the highly contagious Delta variant has resulted in a second wave of the virus for the South East Asian nation, making it one of the world’s epicentres and a potential hot-spot for the emergence of a new COVID-19 super strain. 

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Indonesia has recorded a staggering 4,224,487 cases and 142,494 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, with an estimate of only 27% of the population fully vaccinated as of 4 October 2021.  

Earlier in the year, the country reached the devastating milestone of topping the rest of the world in numbers of positive cases and fatalities, with thousands of patients overwhelming local hospitals every day.  

Yet despite the fact that numbers have seemingly been declining, health experts have warned that this may have been impacted by: 

  • lowered testing rates 
  • poor testing and tracing capacity 
  • inaccurate estimates on the death toll 
  • deliberate falsification of data. 

This decline in positive cases and deaths has opened up for the possibility of easing restrictions and improving in the country’s current economic climate. However, with only 27 per cent of the population currently vaccinated, the road towards economic recovery seems long. 

Supporting local communities  

With your generous support and through our local partner Yayasan Mitra Tani Mandiri (YMTM), we are providing support to those affected by the impacts of COVID-19 on the country’s economy. 

YMTM’s Integrated Village Development Project in East Nusa Tenggara has helped improve family incomes and food security by developing the agricultural and livelihoods skills of its participants.  

The YMTM program has provided income-generating opportunities for participants to build capital and assets by using available resources to become self-reliant. With the assistance of this program, people like Yani and her husband have been able to gain financial stability during the pandemic. 

Prior to joining the program, Yani and her husband produced small yields of low-quality crops, which they sold at a low price. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they struggled to sell their produce and provide for their family due to restrictions impeding their access to local markets.  

After participating in the program’s post-harvest making/production workshops, Yani has been able to maximise the available assets from her garden (such as coconuts, bananas, turmeric, taro, porang, oranges, lemongrass, etc.) and has started the post-harvest production. With your support, Yani has been able to provide for her family and become a leader in her community and has been appointed as a Treasurer of saving and loan group and is very trusted by its members. 

Her success has inspired other members of the program to join the farmers’ group.  

Program overview 

In 2021, the Integrated Village Development Project in East Nusa Tenggara has helped Indonesia’s economic recovery by supporting communities affected by COVID-19 restrictions.  

The program has also helped to strengthen linkages between farmers and local small businesses, supporting stronger community-based microfinance systems, such as Savings and Loans groups, to help the most vulnerable meet their basic needs and protect their livelihoods.

More than 4000 Farmers

have adopted sustainable practices and cultivated 1084 hectares of land with food crops. 

More than 50 percent of farmers

involved in the program have reported an average increase of corn production by 19%. 

Over 9000 farmers

have reported annual increase income of 28% due to higher yields, cattle raising, perennial plant cultivation, processed products, higher prices through joint marketing and profits through saving and loan groups.