Indonesia is the fourth-most populous country in the world, and its urban growth rate is enormously high. Infrastructure and resources are under constant pressure, with the conservation of Indonesia’s forests and peat lands a particular struggle.
Many of Indonesia’s more than 17,000 islands are at high risk of earthquake and volcanic eruption. Hundreds of thousands of families have been displaced and severely affected by natural disasters in recent years. Unfortunately, the number of children living on the streets has dramatically increased as a result, and many of these children suffer abuse through exploitation and child trafficking.
While poverty and low living standards persist throughout Indonesia, particularly in rural areas, there has been progress in the past decade.
Indonesia elected the Governor of Jakarta, Joko Widodo, as President in 2014 after decades of military and autocratic rule. Mr Widodo, a former furniture maker known as an advocate for the poor, ran on a platform of reform, promising to eliminate corruption and modernise the nation.
Despite its growth as an emerging economy, Indonesia is the world’s fourth-most unequal nation, with its population’s richest one per cent controlling 49.3 per cent of its total wealth. President Widodo announced a new focus on addressing economic inequality in 2017, and the outcomes of that shift will be hugely important for the millions of Indonesians who still live in poverty.