Poverty still persists in Papua; development has failed, says DPD member

Bintang Papua, 15 August, 2012

Translated by TAPOL

Manokwari: The Regional Representative Council, (DPD) is of the opinion that the government's concept and strategy to promote development in the Land of Papua by means of Special Autonomy (Otsus) has done nothing to improve the welfare of the Papuan people.

All their intentions to resolve the problem of Papua by promoting the welfare of the people has so far failed to achieve any improvements.
The indigenous people in Papua and West Papua are still mired in poverty and backwardness.

This is evident from the fact that the official statistics of poverty since 2010 for the whole of Indonesia still reveal that Papua and West Papua have the highest percentage of poverty of all the 33 provinces of Indonesia.

According to the figures of the Statistics Bureau (BPS) for 2010, the level of poverty in West Papua was 36.80 percent, while in Papua it was
34.88 percent. These two provinces along with Aceh, are the richest in natural resources yet the level of poverty is far higher than the national average which is 13.33 percent.

In 2011 and 2012, the level of poverty showed very little improvement.

'This means that Jakarta has failed in its development endeavours in Papua,' said Senator Mervin S, Komber in a press release circulated last night.

The Senator urged the Indonesian president to go to Papua to hear for himself what the Papuan people's aspirations are, so as to ensure that he does not continue to pursue erroneous policies for development in the land of Cenderawasih.

'The president should also get together with leaders of the Papuan people to work out an approach that respects local wisdoms and takes account of the reality of the situation in the Land of Papua,' he said.