Integrated efforts can help reduce stunting, extreme poverty

id stunting,extreme poverty,National Population and Family Planning Agency

Integrated efforts can help reduce stunting, extreme poverty

A medical staff takes the measurements of a toddler as part of a program to support children with stunted growth, at Satu Ulu Integrated Health Center in Palembaang, South Sumatra, on March 3, 2023. (ANTARA PHOTOS/NOVA WAHYUDI/my)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Integrated efforts made by the government can help suppress extreme poverty effectively and concurrently address stunting, Indonesia's National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN) has said.

"We have given (the directives) through the Regional Development Planning Agency. It can be seen here that each has its own data," Deputy of Population Control at the BKKBN Bonivasius Prasetya Ichtiarto said in an official statement received here on Tuesday.

He informed that BKKBN has collected the names and addresses of families at risk of stunting after reviewing the actual situation. Its data also includes details such as which families have toddlers under the age of two, the number of pregnant women in an area, and also families at risk of stunting. Furthermore, it also has data on families that have fallen into extreme poverty.

The data will serve as a basis for the government for allocating funds from the village budget that can be used for programs to address the problems, such as supplying nutritious food to families at risk of stunting, Ichtiarto said. The agency has used data from the 2022 National Nutrition Status Study to map stunting prevalence in Indonesia.

"For example, the stunting prevalence rate in North Kalimantan went down from 27.5 percent in 2021 to 22.1 percent in 2022. As for its extreme poverty rate, it went down from 0.86 percent in 2021 to 0.63 percent in 2022," he elaborated.

During a virtual meeting with Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Cultural Affairs Muhadjir Effendy, North Kalimantan Governor Zainal A. Paliwang said that efforts to reduce the stunting and extreme poverty rates in the area were impeded by the limited availability of medical staff in borders and remote areas.

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Some areas could only be accessed by airplane, and the communication network in those areas was also limited, he added. Moreover, they did not adopt a single or unified data source and perception on stunting reduction in formulating their programs and plans, the governor noted. Minister Effendy said that if everyone works hand in hand to eradicate extreme poverty, then stunting prevalence can ultimately be brought down.

The handling of the two issues cannot be left to just one single entity, he said. He then urged all village leaders to collect relevant, accurate, and updated data on extreme poverty and report it to the ministry. "Because with accurate data, the intervention measure will be effective and efficient, and stunting as well as extreme poverty can be addressed with haste," Effendy added.