WFP - Investing in Indonesia’s future by fighting under-nutrition

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Marking 2012 National Nutrition Day of Indonesia, WFP in Indonesia is highlighting its partnership with the Government in the fight against under-nutrition.

JAKARTA– The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is marking today’s National Nutrition Day of Indonesia by highlighting its partnership with the Government in the fight against under-nutrition.

“WFP is committed to Indonesia’s vision of food security for all – working with the government to reduce under-nutrition is one of our three core strategies,” said WFP Indonesia Country Director, Coco Ushiyama. “Proper nutrition is at the heart of all progress, contributing to the development of healthier, stronger and brighter citizens. It has an integral role in poverty reduction and sustainable economic development achievements. WFP is in Indonesia to work with all partners and leave the best of all possible legacies for the generations to come.”

While significant progress has been made in reducing the prevalence of underweight children in Indonesia, studies show that stunting in particular remains a challenge, especially among the youngest. The prevalence of chronic malnourishment (or stunting) among children nationwide was ranked ‘high’at 35 per cent by the Ministry of Health in 2010. Provinces such as Nusa TenggaraTimur (58 percent) and Papua (48 percent) registered a ‘very high’ prevalence of chronic malnourishment.

“Stunting leads to higher childhood mortality, lower cognitive development, and reduced economic productivity in adulthood. Recent studies have also shown that stunted children have an increased risk of obesity, diabetes and chronic vascular diseases later in life. Prevention of stunting therefore also needs to be incorporated into the national strategy in preventing non-communicable diseases (NCDs)” said Martin Bloem, Chief of Nutrition Policy Division for WFP Headquarters in Rome during his presentation on a Global Perspective to food and nutrition for the early age in Jakarta last week.

WFP’s nutrition policy focuses on delivering the right food, at the right time, in the right place and has a particular focus on the first 1,000 days of life – from the womb to two years of age – a critical window of opportunity where a poor diet can mean irreparable losses to physical and intellectual development.

WFP is working closely with the Indonesian government and the private sector on sustainable solutions to under-nutrition in the country, including the best ways to encourage dietary diversification and enhance and scale up access to nutritious foods through government social safety nets and the market.

As part of efforts to share best practices, WFP last week joined government officials, academic experts and other key stakeholders at a Seminar on Food and Nutrition Security organized by the Food and Nutrition Community in Indonesia (PERGIZI PANGAN) with the theme, “Food and Nutrition for a Healthy, Bright and Strong Generation towards an Eminent Indonesia” (Pangan dan Gizi Mewujudkan Generasi Sehat,Cerdas, dan Kuat Menuju Indonesia Prima).

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Each year, on average, WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries.

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For more information please contact (email address:
Gina Meutia, WFP/Jakarta, Tel. +62 21 570 9004 ext. 2110; mobile +62 811 987 371
Candy Sihombing, WFP/Jakarta, Tel. +62 21 570 9004 ext. 2116; mobile +62 811 987 363