Ricki Putra Harahap, Jakarta – The National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN) wants to see election candidates – particularly those seeking to lead the sub-national governments – include programs to tackle stunting in their political campaigns.According to BKKBN head Hasto Wardoyo, election campaigns have always been putting emphasis on practical and economic issues, among others, infrastructure development. However, stunting has become something that local government heads should think of if they seek to help Indonesia develop its human capital.
"It would be best if the regional heads are knowledgeable about the issue of stunting, and they include stunting [in their campaigns]," Hasto said in Jakarta on Tuesday.
"Hopefully, regents and their deputies, governors, and legislative candidates would change their campaigns a bit. Don't just follow what people would expect for a practical political campaign by only focusing on issues such as infrastructure development. It is better to have [these campaigns] focus on real issues, namely human capital," Hasto said.
According to BKKBN, Indonesia is home to 13.1 million families that are at risk of stunting as of the first semester of 2023. However, the number dropped to 11.3 million families the following semester.
The National Food Agency (Bapanas) is providing food aid to help families combat stunting. The assistance encompasses one pack of eggs and 1 kilogram of chicken meat for 3 months across the 7 provinces that Indonesia has made a priority to address stunting.
The first phase of the food aid distribution is completed, followed by a second phase that began in September and will go on until the end of this month. Bapanas reported that the food aid distribution rate stood at 89.66 percent. In total, about 1.4 million families at risk of stunting will get the assistance
"Bapanas and the SOE Ministry will appoint the [state-owned food holding] ID Food to distribute food aid like this to 1.4 million families across seven priority provinces," Bapanas head Arief Prasetyo.
The seven priority provinces are as follows: Banten, West Java, Central Java, East Java, East Nusa Tenggara, West Sulawesi, and North Sumatra.