Lima, Peru – Stunting or stopping growth in children is still a problem that needs to be resolved by Indonesia. This was realized by the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, so that he made reducing the stunting rate as one of the national priorities as stated in Presidential Regulation No. 18 of 2020 concerning RPJMN 2020-2024. To seek new ideas and innovations in the formation of policies regarding the reduction of stunting rates, BKKBN RI in collaboration with the Indonesian Embassy in Lima held an International Seminar entitled “Lessons Learned from the Success of Peru in Substantially Reducing Stunting” which was held on November 25, 2020 at 20.00-23.30 at night. Peru or November 26, 8.00-11.00 am Indonesian time. This webinar was attended by more than 800 participants on the Zoom and Youtube platforms consisting of representatives of BKKBN in the regions, practitioners, academics and BKKBN partners and the general public.

Peru is used as an example considering that this country has succeeded in reducing significantly the stunting rate in the country from 28% to 14% in 1 decade (2008-2018). There were 2 speakers, namely, Lucy Revilla from Qali Warma, a Peruvian Government program in charge of providing and distributing food for school children, and Marilú Chiang from Prisma, a Peruvian NGO that since 1986 has been engaged in eradicating malnutrition among children in Peru.

The webinar was started with remarks by the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Peru and Bolivia, Ms. Marina Estella Anwar Bey, who conveyed her observations on the handling of stunting in Peru which can be handled quickly thanks to the political will of all policy makers. Ambassador Estella hopes that through this webinar Indonesia can formulate an innovative stunting management policy, given Indonesia’s very good economic conditions and poverty levels. The activity was then continued with remarks by the Head of BKKBN RI, Mr. Dr. (H.C) Hasto Wardoyo, MD, OBGYN who also opened the International Seminar. In his remarks, the Head of BKKBN RI said that stunting under the leadership of the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, has become a national priority as outlined in Presidential Regulation No. 18 of 2020. Stunting in Indonesia is currently quite high, where the rate of reduction is still at 0.3% per year, while the Government’s target is around 2% per year.

In her presentation, Mrs. Lucy Revilla – Technical Coordinator of Qali Warma said that the Qali Warma program is tasked with providing food for school age children as an effort to guarantee nutrition through multi-sectoral cooperation. According to him, the Peruvian government realizes that apart from the first 3 years of a child’s life, child nutrition must continue to be guaranteed, especially for children living below the poverty line. He closed his presentation by explaining the achievements of Qali Warma and the challenges faced, especially the current Covid – 19 challenge. The second resource person, Ms. Marilú Chiang – Executive Director of Prisma, explained her presentation that Prisma had been trying to reduce malnutrition in Peru since 1986 through various programs. From these various programs, Prisma sees that stunting is a problem caused by multiple factors. In addition to providing adequate nutrition, food safety, clean water, environmental hygiene and parental knowledge of the importance of healthy food must be ensured so that children can avoid stunting. He also said that Prisma carried out programs that covered all aspects of a child’s life even before the child was conceived, namely, prevention of early marriage and providing education for families planning to have children. Prisma also succeeded in including the issue of reducing stunting in every program of the newly elected President of Peru.

After the explanations from the two speakers, a question and answer session was opened. There are about 40 questions and the questions that concern most of the webinar participants are how to monitor the provision of food for school children so that abuse does not occur, and what approach is used for indigenous communities. Regarding the monitoring, Mrs. Lucy Revilla explained that Qali Warma had already used a geo-tagging application and just like Prisma made visits to beneficiary houses to ensure that they ran the program according to the predetermined parameters. As for the question regarding the approach to indigenous peoples, Ms. Marilú Chiang explained that the implementation of Prisma programs must be able to adapt to the character of the targeted community, such as adjusting language for educational materials and adjusting food recommendations based on the area where the community lives.

After the question and answer session the webinar was closed by the Deputy for Training, Research and Development of BKKBN, Prof. drh. M. Rizal Martua Damanik MRepSC, PhD. The holding of the International Seminar “Lessons Learned from the Success of Peru in Substantially Reducing Stunting” was well responded to by the participants who felt that the time allocated was still insufficient because there were still many things that could be explored to assist the Government of Indonesia in formulating innovative and innovative stunting reduction policies right on target.

source​: Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Lima

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