Improving Nutrition for Indonesian Children, Advancing The Economy of The Nation

Almost 9 million of Indonesian children under five are stunted, making Indonesia the country with the fifth highest percentage of stunted children in the world. Over one-third of children under five years old in Indonesia are stunted. It is estimated that there are about 3.3 million Indonesian children are underweight.

Lack of nutrition in a child’s early life leads to higher infant and child mortality, increased vulnerability to illness, and physical growth limitations. Cognitive abilities of stunted children are also effected, thus resulting in long-term economic losses to individuals and to Indonesia. Intervention within the first 1,000 days of a child’s life is crucial for address this issue. The Indonesian government also made a number of interventions to reduce stunting prevalence in children under two years old from 37% (2013) to 28% in 2019.

The Community-based Health and Nutrition to Reduce Stunting Project (CHNP) aims to support government’s effort to reduce the prevalence of stunting. This US$ 133.2 million project targets to reduce and prevent low birth weight, childhood stunting, and malnourished children. In the long run, the project aims to increase household income through savings on health costs and increased productivity.

To achieve these goals, CHNP conducts several activities focused on improving the nutritional status of pregnant women and children. Among other things, through the increased roles of society member, improvement on nutrition intake, diarrhea cases reduction, increased supply of affordable nutritious food, and increased awareness of Government of Indonesia and the public about the importance of stunting.

CHNP is also integrating activities that are often carried out separately. Through a more integrated approach, it is expected that the stunting issue can be prevented and reduced.