COVID-19 continues to confound and devastate the world. 2020 was an upending year of loss, uncertainty and vulnerability. We take this moment to express our grief and share our solace to those who have lost irrevocably during this pandemic. Nothing else has had such a profound and indiscriminate impact on human life and society in nearly a century. Our beloved country has been particularly hard hit. Developing countries such as ours have had to make an impossible choice during this pandemic, as a country we have been faced with choices that endanger either the economic or physical well-being of our people.
A projection by SMERU Institute predicts that in the worst-case scenario, up to an additional 8.5 million people could fall under the poverty line by the beginning of 2021. If this were to happen, the poverty rate would be pushed back to a level it was in 2011 and all the progress Indonesia has made in eradicating poverty in the last decade will be all but wiped out.
We sincerely hope that this does not happen; but as we should hope for the best, we should also prepare for the worst. We at the foundation are committed more than ever to the vision and mission we have set forth, and it has become only more urgent and pressing for us to keep our focus and determination. We remain hopeful but ever resolved as we look to the year ahead.