News / Press Release

WFP appeals for US$98 million to assist the hungry in Indonesia

Jakarta, 28 November 2007 - World Food Programme has kicked off a critical initiative to assist Indonesia in providing food for the nation's hungry poor and called on international donors to contribute urgently to a new

1.7m face hunger in Indonesia

 John Aglionby in Jakarta
 The Guardian,
 Tuesday August 17 2004
[This article appeared in the Guardian on Tuesday August 17 2004 .
It was last updated at 23:59 on August 16 2004.]

Some 1.7 million Indonesians have been living on one meal a day for the past three weeks because the government, which admits it cannot feed them, has blocked a UN world food programme project, aid agencies said yesterday.

The crisis began in January when rice imports were banned, crippling the WFP's scheme which distributed internationally donated rice to the 300,000 families who live on about 20p a day.

For six months the government allowed the WFP to borrow rice from the state logistics agency, but that ended last month when the WFP said it could no longer guarantee the quality of the rice.

The trade ministry said the ban was needed to support poor farmers as Indonesia produces a 2m-tonne annual surplus. But the WFP said the amount of rice it wanted to import was 0.1% of the national annual harvest, which would have no impact on the internal market.

three year US$98 million program for food aid for the country.

WFP also announced partnerships with two well-known Indonesian citizens, an international investor and a movie star Edwin Soeryadjaya and Luna Maya to increase public efforts to end hunger in Indonesia.

Millions of poor families

"Hunger is still a very real threat for too many poor Indonesians," said Tony Banbury, Asia Regional Director for WFP.

"Despite Indonesian's impressive economic gains of recent years, there are still millions of poor families who cannot provide enough food for their children.

With support from Edwin Soeryadjaya and our existing private sector partners, WFP will work with the Government to provide direct food aid for 840,000 people the poorest of the poor -- facing hunger today in Indonesia."

At risk

Banbury noted that WFPs present assistance to Indonesians is at risk unless new funding is secured soon and urged international donors to provide financial support for critically needed food assistance for children and other vulnerable persons in Indonesia.

An estimated 13 million children under five are malnourished in Indonesia, and in some of the poorest areas of the country, such as the province of Nusa Tenggara Timur, 30 percent of children under the age of five are severely malnourished according to the most recent WFP food surveys.

Despite improving macroeconomic indicators, the gap between rich and poor in Indonesia remains vast, and millions more people fell into the ranks of the ultra-poor this year.

Targeting the poorest

WFP targets food assistance to the very poorest persons mostly mothers and children - in communities in West Timor, Lombok, Madura, East Java and Greater Jakarta. In this past year, WFP food has reached 845,000 Indonesians.

Working in support of the Government, WFP addresses micronutrient deficiencies through fortified food interventions to children aged 2-5 years; to pregnant and nursing women; and to primary school children.

This is combined with health, hygiene and nutrition education to achieve long-lasting improvements.

As of today, WFP has not received any significant contributions towards this new program, and WFPs may be forced to suspend or sharply curtail its activities very soon unless more funding is pledged soon.

Devastating impact

This will have a devastating impact on the poorest of the poor, said Angela VanRynbach, WFPs Representative in Indonesia.

WFP also announced that in an effort to raise awareness of the problem of hunger in Indonesia, and to mobilize funds, it has recruited two extraordinary individuals:

Edwin Soeryadjaya

Co founder and Head of Saratoga Capital, is a well known investor and his holdings include stakes in commodities, energy, telecommunications, financial services and others.

The Soeryadjaya family has a long history of philanthropy and Edwin continues this proud tradition. We are honored to have Edwin Soeryadjaya join us as Asian Philanthropist trust member, said VanRynbach.

WFP is partnering with some of Asias most elite and influential business leaders and philanthropists and is establishing the Asian Philanthropist Trust.

Edwin Soeryadjaya has been chosen as the Indonesian member and joins the likes of Tan Sri (Dr.) Francis Yeoh, Chief Executive of YTL Corporation from Malaysia.

The Philanthropists will commit their own resources and seek to raise outside resources to fund WFP operations. Trust members will use their intellectual and creative capacity to advocate on behalf of the hungry poor.

Luna Maya

The popular actress and model has worked tirelessly for WFP since 2005 and has helped raise the WFP profile in Indonesia, through fundraising events, press conferences and site visits.

I am delighted to join forces with WFP to tackle hunger problems and I look forward to raising awareness to help the most vulnerable people in Indonesia said Luna Maya

WFP Ambassadors Against Hunger possess a demonstrated commitment to the global fight against hunger. Reaching out to the public and to global leaders, they use their talent and public persona to generate awareness and support for WFP.

Luna Maya joins a team of illustrious WFP Ambassadors serving the hungry poor across the globe, including sporting legends such as Paul Tergat, Kakà and Ronaldinho and most recently, actress Drew Barrymore.

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