Almost $100 million needed to help feed Indonesia’s poorest, says UN agency
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has appealed for $98 million to run a three-year project to feed the hungry in Indonesia, where millions of poor children across the South-East Asian archipelago are malnourished.
Launching the initiative yesterday in the capital Jakarta, WFP’s Asia Regional Director Tony Banbury said the agency’s current assistance programmes in Indonesia will be at risk unless new funding is secured soon.
The planned three-year programme – which has not received any significant contributions or pledges so far – will provide 840,000 Indonesians with direct food aid, focusing on “the poorest of the poor” in West Timor, Lombok, Madura, East Java and Greater Jakarta.
The scheme will target mothers and children in particular, with the WFP working with the Government and private sector partners to also provide health, hygiene and nutrition information.
The most recent surveys indicate that an estimated 13 million children under the age of five are malnourished in Indonesia, and in some areas, such as the province of Nusa Tenggara Timor, 30 per cent of children in that age category are classed as severely malnourished.
“Hunger is still a very real threat for too many poor Indonesians,” Mr. Banbury said. “Despite Indonesia’s impressive economic gains of recent years, there are still millions of poor families who cannot provide enough food for their children.”
As part of the launch, WFP has recruited two well-known Indonesians, the investor and businessman Edwin Soeryadjaya and the actress and model Luna Maya, to help promote the initiative and raise public awareness.
Mr. Soeryadjaya has become a member of the Asian Philanthropist Trust, which the WFP has established with some of the continent’s most influential business figures, while Ms. Maya becomes a WFP Ambassador Against Hunger.