Economic Impacts and Access to Social Protection during the COVID-19 Crisis: The Experiences of People with Disabilities in Indonesia
Summary of publication
The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to result in a rapid and significant increase in the prevalence and severity of poverty in Indonesia, as people are unable to work, jobs and income are lost, businesses close and debts accumulate. Under the most recent projection, COVID-19 could push between 1.3 million to 8.5 million people into poverty, significantly increasing the national poverty rate (SMERU, 2020). In regular circumstances, people with disabilities – who comprise approximately 9 per cent of Indonesia’s population – are more likely to be poor, experience high health expenditures, and are more exposed to economic shocks. The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to heighten these inequalities (United Nations, 2020). At the same time, people with disabilities in Indonesia have limited access to social protection programs. Approximately 3 per cent of people with disabilities are currently receiving regular social protection benefits, leaving the vast majority without income protection during this turbulent time. More support is needed to offset the economic burden experienced by people with disabilities, as well as their carers.
This policy brief analyses how people with disabilities in Indonesia have been impacted by COVID-19, and to what extent they have been reached and affected by the government’s recently expanded social protection measures. It aims to inform national policy discussions on approaches to social protection for people with disabilities, both during times of crisis and beyond.