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Special Autonomy Solution to Save the Economy of the Papuan People during the Pandemic

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By: Timothy Krei) *

The special autonomy fund is the savior of the Papuan people, especially during the pandemic period. They get money loans for trading capital and also scholarship assistance for their children. This fund is really beneficial for the people, so they support the extension of the special autonomy in 2021.

Special autonomy is the authority in Papua that has been given by the central government since 2001. When there is special autonomy, the community will be given large funds to build the Earth of Cendrawasih. The money is used in the fields of education, health, economics, etc. The goal is for the welfare of the Papuan people.

The special autonomy fund will be given again in 2021 and the plan is to increase it to 7 trillion rupiah. This amount of money, apart from developing Papua, was also given to the Papua XX PON budget. However, what is clear is that the special autonomy funds are still prioritized to alleviate poverty in Cendrawasih Earth.

During a pandemic, the special autonomy fund is even more useful, because it will reduce the distress of people whose financial conditions are declining. However, the money given was not in the form of hard cash, because the local government preferred to provide hooks, not fish. The point is that the special autonomy fund is given as a business capital loan, so that people are excited to trade.

In Abepura, a community capital loan program has been running, sourced from the special autonomy fund. In other regions, hopefully a similar program can be carried out, so that mothers (as mothers in Papua) can trade with this capital. Their main problem is lack of capital, and the disbursement of special autonomy funds can save them.

The mothers can continue their business of selling vegetables, sweet potatoes, sago and other crops to the market. In addition to selling them to the market, mothers are also assisted by young people to market their products via the internet. So that the market share is getting wider. Everything is done with the help of a special autonomy fund.

The business of this mother is carried out because her husband has financial difficulties. Because during the pandemic, many workers had their wages cut by 50%, or were even dismissed by the company. When the husband has no income, the wife comes forward to help earn money, so that the children can eat properly and the family does not starve to death.

After getting a profit, the mothers can return the capital loan in installments. That way, they will have no more trouble because they can continue to work during the pandemic, because there is capital loan assistance from the special autonomy fund. So that it can be independent.

In addition to capital loans for mothers, special autonomy funds are also in the form of scholarships. Papuan children can stay in school because the SPP is paid by the special autonomy fund. Because even though they do distance learning, they are still obliged to pay tuition fees, for school operational funds.

The difference is, during this pandemic, the special autonomy funds for education are not only used as scholarships. But also channeled to support the distance learning process. For example, quota / credit assistance for students in Papua. Because not all parents can afford to pay for wifi subscriptions or buy credit regularly.

Assistance for distance learning can also be provided to teachers. Because not all of them have ASN status. The honorary teachers will receive assistance to buy credit and also allowances to survive. Because during the pandemic, they couldn’t take lessons to the students.

The special autonomy fund really saved the economy of the Papuan people because they received assistance in the form of capital loans, so they could trade again in the market. Mothers can get extra income so the kitchen stays steaming. In addition, children also benefit from the special autonomy funds, because they get school scholarships.

) * The author is a Papuan student living in Bandung

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