Food Security Monitoring Bulletin INDONESIA (Vol.9 January 2018)
- Mohammad Ridwan
- 18 Jan 2018
Weak to moderate La Niña conditions contributed to higher than normal rainfall across the country. In late November, cyclone Cempaka brought heavy rains and extreme winds to the south-eastern coast of Java. The high rainfall led to increased floods and landslides, causing destruction and damage. Higher than normal rainfall throughout the dry season led to higher paddy harvest between September and December 2017.
Over the next three months, with the continued impact of La Niña, normal to above normal rains are expected, increasing the risk of floods, landslides and associated damages. Given that Indonesia experienced an unusually high number of floods and landslides since mid-2016, the coping capacity of the affected population may be stretched, which may affect their ability to respond to the potential disasters in the upcoming months.
Special Focus: Food Security Situation in 100 Districts prioritized for reduction in stunting
In 2017, the government launched a Presidential National Action Plan that aims to address the high levels of stunting among children under 5-years of age. The National Action Plan directs national ministries to focus their programmes and activities in 2018 on 100 districts with a high stunting prevalence, stunting incidence and a high poverty rate. This initiative has already been launched in 8 districts in 2017.
Food insecurity is one of the underlying factors contributing to stunting. Among the 100 Districts prioritized for action, 78 districts had a very high level of stunting, 19 had high, and 3 had medium levels among children under 5-years of age. Assessment of the food security situation in the priority districts shows that availability of food is sufficient, while access to food and utilization of food remain a challenge.
Availability of food staples was adequate in most of the districts. Access to clean drinking water, essential for food utilization and safe absorption of food, was below the national average in the 100 priority Districts, with 40.8% of households without clean drinking water. Economic access to food also remains a challenge for low and middle- expenditure groups. The poverty level was found to be higher than the national average in the 100 priority Districts in 2016. In the first 8 priority Districts, households in low and middle-expenditure deciles allocated more than half of their expenditure to food. Cereals constituted the largest share of food expenditure for low and middle income households, exceeding 20% of food expenditure.
Despite spending most of their income on food, food consumption among the low and middle-expenditure households was inadequate. Protein and energy intake of the most economically vulnerable households was well below adequate. On the other hand, the wealthiest households reached the recommended levels, both for protein and energy intake.
Inadequate protein and energy intake, combined with a high share of expenditure on cereals among lower- and middle-wealth groups indicate households struggle to afford an adequate diet. The analysis suggests that the high cost of cereals is hampering access to a more diverse and nutritious diet, and ultimately might be contributing to the high malnutrition rates. Lack of access to clean drinking water can also hinder safe food consumption and absorption of nutrients, and contribute to high malnutrition levels.
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