Scholarships handed to 89 university students in West Papua’s Sorong

Science & Technology

Member of the House of Representatives (DPR) Rico Sia handed out scholarships to 89 university students in the West Papua city of Sorong on Wednesday.

Each of the recipients of the Indonesian Talent Research and Innovation Scholarship Scheme received Rp10 million.

Sia expressed keenness to see young people in West Papua Province highly encouraged to study hard for the sake of a brighter future.

The scholarship funds they receive are expected to enable them to complete their research projects and contribute to regional developments in Indonesia, he affirmed.

“Young people in West Papua are encouraged to record achievements at the local, national, and international levels,” he added.

ANTARA had reported earlier about how the Indonesian government has consistently demonstrated its strong commitment to boosting development of the country’s eastern regions, including the provinces of Papua and West Papua.

The Papua special autonomy law has paved the way for fund flows from the central government to Papua and West Papua since 2001.

The Finance Ministry’s data indicated that during the implementation of the Papua special autonomy law, the government had disbursed Rp138.65 trillion for Papua and West Papua as special autonomy funds and additional funds for infrastructure projects.

Meanwhile, the total regional transfer and village funds that the government distributed in the two provinces between 2002 and 2021 had been recorded at Rp702.3 trillion, according to People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) speaker Bambang Soesatyo.

Despite central funding, the two provinces are still struggling to improve the quality of their human capital, as was apparent by their scores on Indonesia’s 2020 Human Development Index, which were below the national average of 71.94.

Statistics Indonesia (BPS) revealed that Papua and West Papua scored 60.44 and 65.09, respectively, on the index. Their scores were lower than Aceh Province that chalked up 71.94.

BPS data released in February this year further showed that the poverty rates in Papua and West Papua were recorded at 26.8 percent and 21.7 percent, respectively.

Development outcomes also remained inequitable for native Papuan communities as was apparent from their low income level and lack of access to education and health services, it said.

In the midst of this challenging reality, the government has hinted its intention to extend the allocation of special autonomy funds for Papua and West Papua by another two decades to accelerate endeavors to close the development gap and usher in prosperity for all communities in the region.

Source: Antara News