In fight against hunger, UN helps develop food atlas for Indonesia

19 August 2005

A new tool in the war on hunger in Indonesia was unveiled today by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Ministry of Agriculture, a 135-page compilation of colour-coded maps and charts that provides the first comprehensive analysis of all the many dimensions of food insecurity.

A new tool in the war on hunger in Indonesia was unveiled today by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Ministry of Agriculture, a 135-page compilation of colour-coded maps and charts that provides the first comprehensive analysis of all the many dimensions of food insecurity.

“It touches the lives and livelihoods of millions of suffering people,” WFP Country Director Mohamed Saleheen said of “A Food Insecurity Atlas of Indonesia,” jointly developed over the last two years by the agency and the Ministry’s National Food Security Council.

The new atlas uses 10 separate indicators to gauge chronic food insecurity in 265 districts in 30 provinces of Indonesia. It measures food production and availability in the various districts, in addition to data on poverty levels, life expectancy, female illiteracy, infant mortality, underweight children and access to clean water, electricity and health services.

Transient food insecurity is also highlighted since Indonesia is susceptible to many natural calamities, ranging from flood, fire and drought to volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and the occasional tsunami, such as the one last December that devastated the northern province of Aceh.

The atlas is likely to prove particularly useful in allocating scarce resources since it not only identifies priority areas but also isolates specific causes and possible remedies, thereby allowing the authorities to more accurately target help.

Mr. Saleheen called it an “extraordinary publication” that will prove to be an “effective tool in developing appropriate strategies for the programming of resources towards a hunger-free and food-secure Indonesia.

“Food security involves much more than just the sufficient production and widespread availability of food. It must be people-centred,” he added.

 

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