Suffering small children | Stock Photo Indonesia today suffering small children

Text: Duncan Graham

Plains are polluted. On windless days, as is often the case, you don’t need a sniff meter to count particles. Just stand high and scan the smogscape below.

The next big island is Java. It’s also a beautiful and mysterious place, but he’s one of the most overcrowded places in the world, and the environment can also be toxic. On the list of lung and heart diseases and short lives, International nutritionist Ji Hyun-ra: “Indonesia is believed to have the fifth highest number of stunted children in the world.”

According to UNICEF: “Millions of Indonesian children and adolescents continue to be threatened by the ‘double burden’ of malnutrition, a combination of staggering stunting and wasting, and under- and over-nutrition. ”

Stunting is irreversible. Chronic malnutrition and ongoing illness cause children to fail to reach normal growth rates. “It permanently limits a child’s physical and cognitive abilities and can cause lifelong damage.” About seven million lethargic little children suffer from this devastating condition.

Weakness is acute lethargy that can lead to death. His two million in this category show xylophone breasts, staring eyes, and shrunken cheeks. With regular feeding, it will recover. They live in a lush and fruitful country. Anyone who imagined the Garden of Eden must have visited Java.

So what’s the problem? Give the kids a checkup and Tucker’s whip and all will be well.

The reasons for the disaster are complex. They include land ownership, uncontrolled urban sprawl, and hope for a better life. everything is exacerbated by inequalityAny fix will require a whole-of-government offensive backed by continued political will.

There is a national strategy to accelerate stunting prevention involving 22 agencies. Although some progress has been made (37% was reported in 2013), the incidence remains “stubbornly high.” says the World Bank.

More than half of Indonesia’s 273 million citizens live in Java. There are 38 mountains, including active volcanoes, that rain mineral-rich volcanic ash onto the surface. In some areas he can harvest three crops in two seasons, one hot/wet season and one hot/dry season.

But each year, hundreds of square kilometers of precious soil disappear forever under asphalt and concrete as cities sprawl to handle rapids from breezy highlands to big smoke. This has to do with the stunting tragedy.

The rural-urban divide in the second half of the 20th century was about 60 to 40. Now it’s the other way around. Fed up with hard work, low wages and few opportunities for improvement, more than 9 million Indonesians leave for a labor-hungry country. that is, country’s total workforce.

For factory labor, dense living, and carbon monoxide-filled streets, trade clean outdoor manual labor for fresh fruits and vegetables on your doorstep, believing it’s damaging your health. is logical.

But according to Dr. Sirojuddin Arif of the SMERU Institute, it’s the opposite. At his ANU forum on rural Indonesia, he said villagers have no choice facing urban people.

Parents should visit a clinic or doctor to be aware of stunting. As in Australia, rural life is unappealing, so the greater the distance between the city and the bush, the lower the quality of medical care.

The rest is nutrition. Villagers subsist on rice, corn, vegetables and the occasional chalk. Red meat is precious and rare. Not enough protein. The consequences are clear and serious.

The pandemic has exacerbated the crisis, UNICEF says“Overburdened health facilities, disruptions to food supply chains and loss of income from COVID-19 could lead to a sharp increase in the number of malnourished children in Indonesia if swift action is not taken. .”

Australia’s stunting and wasting levels are below 1%, lowest in the worldOur problem is obesity.

If the Jakarta Palace statement is a prescription, the government is listening to warnings. If posters, social mapping, and milk handouts are the dosage, they’re not listening.

Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo said stunted children mean it will be harder for the next generation to compete with their peers in other countries. Yes, but his reasoning is that of a ruthless economist. Children’s lives and futures with families become stunted.

On top of all the issues is politics. With its growing reliance on imports, Indonesia fears that dependency will drive up the need for “food security”, seeming to give patriotism to an impossible dream. Inhibition is a lack of quality rather than quantity.

With little capital invested in agriculture, it remains labor intensive.

Large tractors are often seen in the countryside of Thailand. In Indonesia it is cattle, hand tillers and small threshers. Workers paid him about $5 Australian dollars a day, often less. Before the industrial revolution, they wielded scythes and hoes.

Next is hygiene. In villages without tap water, a woman bathes her baby in an irrigation canal, while her upstream neighbor defecates and throws out garbage despite the warning signs.

Land reform remains an endless pain. Introduced by the colonial Dutch in 1870 domain bergler ring (Land Declaration) give state Ownership of all land where the owner does not have a clear title.

Despite Republic rejecting Dutch rule, policy remains – meaning government holds About 63 percent. As such, the Ministry of Forestry can allocate more land to companies for palm oil plantations, mining and logging.

The World Bank said: Having clear rights to access, use and own land is an important means for poor people to improve food and livelihood security. Secure land tenure can be a means of stopping poverty from worsening or even escaping it.

The end of last year, economic forum He told Widodo that 1 percent of the population controls 59 percent of the country. He said he would distribute his 12 million hectares to the poor, but so far about a third has been given away.

Last month he urged citizens to “work hard and cooperate with the government” lower the stunt Over the next two years, the prevalence will go from 24.4% to 14%.

The goal is not ambitious.If 650 Indonesians baby born at the time You can get quite a crack at life while reading this website.

About the writer:
Duncan Graham

Duncan Graham has been a journalist for newspapers, radio and television for over 40 years. He is the author of People Next Door (UWA Press) and a Walkley and Human Rights Award winner. He currently writes for English-language media in Indonesia from within Indonesia. Suffering small children | Stock Photo Indonesia today suffering small children

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