"We have to know that the first cause of stunting is poverty; the second cause is lack of knowledge; and the third is the absence of basic infrastructure," the minister remarked in a press statement received here on Wednesday.
The minister explained that there are no basic infrastructure, such as clean water facilities, electricity, and sanitation facilities, in many villages, which contribute to stunting in children.
But Sandjojo lauded the efforts of the World Bank, which is serious in addressing the issues of stunted growth in children.
Speaking at a panel discussion on Indonesian ambition to reduce stunting, the minister remarked that the first thing to do to overcome stunting is to explore and find out its cause.
He noted that poverty, as the first cause of stunting, must be overcome massively.
According to him, one effort to help overcome the cause of stunting is through the village funds allocated by the government since 2015.
The allocation of village development funds has increased significantly in the last three years since it was proclaimed in 2015.
The total amount of Rp20.7 trillion allocated in 2015 increased to Rp46.9 trillion in 2016 and continued to rise to Rp60 trillion in 2017 and 2018.
Since its implementation in 2017, the village funds have contributed significantly to welfare improvement, although certain parties still use it for their own benefit.
The minister believes that the village fund program can help accelerate the alleviation of poverty, the main cause of stunting in children.
Reporting by Indriani
Editing by Otniel Tamindael