Post-tsunami Development in Aceh Surpasses Expectations: UNDP

Post-tsunami development in Aceh province has surpassed expectations, a United Nations Development Program (UNDP) official said.

UNDP Deputy Country Director Stephen Rodrigues said in a press release received on Thursday, research conducted in cooperation with the National Statistics Agency (BPS) in 2010 had shown Aceh and other Indonesian provinces had made impressive progress in the numbers of people participating in political and community development.

The research had also shown life expectancy in Aceh was 68.5 years, up from 67.7 years in 2002. The incidence of poverty had declined to 22 percent from a peak of 30 percent in 2002, but it had remained well above the national average of 14 percent.

The mean number of years of schooling in Aceh was 8.6 years compared with the national average of 7.6 years. The report suggested, however, that improvements were needed in the quality of education, and that expanded vocational training would help school leavers to find jobs.

The report also argued that while several indicators show steady advances in human development in Aceh, it was important to ensure that everyone benefited from the progress being achieved. Disparities among regions also prevailed.

Within the province, Kota Banda Aceh and Kota Sabang led the chart both in HDI and Human Poverty Index (HPI). It was also noticeable that the relatively low level of human development value was those in the newly established districts. (Antara)