Increasing income as well as improving the standard of living and access to essential services for urban and rural poor are two strategies that will be undertaken by the government to address poverty.

According to the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) Mid-Term Review (MTR) released by the Ministry of Economy today, the People’s Income Initiative (IPR), which commenced earlier this year will be intensified to complement existing poverty eradication programmes and initiatives.

“These programmes will enable the poor to diversify sources of income on a sustainable basis, thus safeguarding this group from falling back into the poverty trap.

“In protecting the income of poor households, affordable insurance or takaful schemes will be introduced. Greater focus will be given on districts with the highest incidence of poverty,” it said.

The document also stated that the implementation of poverty eradication programmes will be strengthened through a whole-of-nation approach involving the public and private sectors, academia, civil society organisations, community-based organisations and local communities.

It also said that efforts will be taken to enhance access to quality education and skills training, improve health outcomes, and uplift living conditions and basic amenities.

Subsidised early childhood care and education will be expanded to offer more affordable and high-quality childcare services.

Assistance for digital learning and targeted interventions, such as tuition, scholarships and cash assistance will be continued to reduce dropouts among students from poor households, while TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) and skill-based programmes will be promoted through job-matching in collaboration with the private sector.

“The MADANI Medical Scheme will continue to be implemented, Nutrition Rehabilitation Programme for Malnourished Children will be further improved and basic utilities and communication services such as clean water, electricity and internet connectivity will be enhanced, particularly in remote areas,” the report said.

The 12MP MTR also stated that concerted efforts will be intensified in improving the wellbeing of M40 by focusing on improving health and employment protection, and access to housing.

The report also emphasised the need to narrow the inequality through two focuses namely improving access to opportunities and strengthening social protection.

“Basic infrastructure such as electricity, water and telecommunication will be made more accessible across socioeconomic groups and geographical locations.

“Education and skills will be enhanced to increase capacity and capability. Affordable and quality healthcare will be promoted through life cycle approach.

“It also includes the adopting inclusive economic policy, improving fiscal measures, promoting financial inclusion, formulating policy on social protection and enhancing the role of Malaysia Social Protection Council,” it said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency