Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo is zeroing in on reducing the prevalence of stunting or chronic hunger in Indonesia by at least 14 percent in the next five years to improve the quality of Indonesian human capital.

"Five years before, the figure had reached 37 percent. It was high, but we managed to cut it down to 28 percent, and it remains high. Our target for the next five years is to trim the stunting prevalence by 14 percent," President Widodo remarked at the launch of the deliberation on the national medium-term development plan (RPJMN) for the 2020-2024 period at the Presidential Palace, here, today.

Following his targets, the president reiterated the significance of feeding nutritious meals to children and students in schools.

"I recall my experiences while attending schools. The teachers would feed students some nutritious meals, such as bubur kacang hijau (sweet Mung Bean porridge with coconut milk), milk, and poached egg. I remember egg was expensive, but now it is affordable," the president recalled.

Apart from nourishing meals, President Widodo also prompted local governments to reduce the maternal mortality rate. "We have to be cautious as the World Bank has informed us that 54 percent of our manpower suffered from chronic hunger. We do not want it to happen any longer. Our future human capital must be free from stunting," Widodo emphasized.

The Indonesian government has outlined a target to reduce the prevalence of stunting to under 20 percent by 2024. In the past, a large number of cases of chronic hunger had been observed in several provinces, including East Nusa Tenggara and East Java.

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Translator: Hanni S/Bayu P/Genta Tenri Maw
Editor: Suharto
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