Ahmad Shoim, Surabaya – Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto unveiled a pivotal program on Friday, promising free lunches and milk for pregnant mothers, children, and teenagers in a bid to address stunting, a critical issue affecting the nation's health.
This initiative is anticipated to encompass nearly 83 million individuals nationwide.
Speaking at a dialogue held at the Muhammadiyah University of Surabaya, Prabowo outlined his strategic project to provide complimentary meals and milk to all children and expectant mothers in Indonesia.
The program targets a broad spectrum of beneficiaries, encompassing 30 million preschoolers, 24 million elementary students, 9.8 million junior high schoolers, 10.2 million high school students, 4.3 million students in Islamic boarding schools, and 4.4 million pregnant mothers.
"We are dedicated to ensuring that Indonesian children develop sharp minds, robust bodies, and sturdy bones. Through this initiative, our children will grow taller and emerge as champions," said Prabowo.
According to government statistics, stunting affected 21.6 percent of Indonesian children last year. The government has an ambitious aim to significantly reduce this figure to 14 percent by the following year.
In a separate event in Jakarta, the campaign team of presidential candidate Ganjar Pranowo unveiled an even more ambitious target: to diminish the percentage of stunted children to 9 percent or below.
Siti Rahmayanti, a spokesperson for the campaign, cited Ganjar's successful track record during his tenure as Central Java's governor. Under his leadership, the stunting rate in the province notably decreased from 24.4 percent in 2018 to 11.9 percent in 2022.