FEATURE: U.N. agency helps poor Indonesians get rice.JAKARTA, Feb. 22 Kyodo
Ilham Ilahi, a 5-month-old Indonesian baby boy, has big eyes and breaks into laughter easily.
Ilham and his parents were visited Monday by Catherine Bertini Catherine Ann Bertini (born 1950) is an American public servant. She has become perhaps best known for her work in highlighting the pivotal role of women in food distribution, pioneering the use of food aid to empower women and girls, and ensuring that women are represented fully , executive director of the World Food Program (WFP WFP World Food Programme (United Nations)
WFP Windows File Protection (Microsoft)
WFP Water for People (international humanitarian organization)
WFP Winnipeg Free Press ), in their makeshift house in Cipinang Besar Selatan, a slum area in eastern Jakarta.
As Bertini held Ilham, she described him as handsome. But the boy's eyes are hollow, his hair red -- two prominent symptoms of malnutrition.
Bertini visited the area to inspect the WFP-sponsored program for distributing rice to urban slum dwellers at a subsidized cost.
Cipinang Besar Selatan is home to about 600 households living in dwellings made of planks and cardboard. The small dwellings without windows or water supply are separated by extremely narrow alleys.
The smell of chicken dung DUNG. Manure. Sometimes it is real estate, and at other times personal property. When collected in a heap, it is personal estate; when spread out on the land, it becomes incorporated in it, and it is then real estate. Vide Manure. and human urine Urine is liquid waste product of the body secreted by the kidneys by a process of filtration from blood and excreted through the urethra. This waste is eventually expelled from the body in a process known as urination. pervade per·vade
tr.v. per·vad·ed, per·vad·ing, per·vades
To be present throughout; permeate. See Synonyms at charge.
[Latin perv the air. There is only one bathroom for every 10 families.
Most residents of Cipinang Besar Selatan came from West Java Province. By scavenging scavenging
of anesthetic. See anesthetic scavenging. recyclable scraps and selling cheap toys, they earn a weekly average of 50,000 rupiah ru·pi·ah
n. pl. rupiah
See Table at currency.
[Hindi rupay, rupiy (about $6.74) per family.
The plight of the family of Ilham and the rest of the residents of Cipinang Besar Selatan has been worsened by the Asian financial crisis that hit Indonesia in mid-1997.
The crisis reduced the income of families in the area by as much as 60%, forcing them to eat less and prompting children to drop out of school to help their parents eke out eke out
1. to make (a supply) last for a long time by using as little as possible
2. a living. Of the 100 school-aged children in the area, only 30 continue to go to school.
Of the 600 households in Cipinang Besar Selatan, 450 were so in need that they have qualified to receive assistance from the WFP since 1998. The WFP helps them get rice for their daily provision under the Special Market Operations program which sells rice at subsidized prices.
Families which can only afford to have one meal a day can buy as much as 20 kilograms of WFP-subsidized rice each month at 1,000 rupiah per kilogram kilogram, abbr. kg, fundamental unit of mass in the metric system, defined as the mass of the International Prototype Kilogram, a platinum-iridium cylinder kept at Sèvres, France, near Paris. , compared with 2,000 to 2,500 rupiah per kilogram in the market.
Ilham's family is of those who benefit from the WFP program. But despite this, his mother told Bertini her family has "sometimes enough, sometimes not enough" to eat and that there is nothing they can buy and eat except the WFP-subsidized rice.
In another slum area, Tanah Tinggi in central Jakarta Central Jakarta (Indonesian:Jakarta Pusat) is a city of Jakarta, Indonesia. It has an area of 48.17 km², the smallest among five cities of Jakarta. The current city's mayor is Muhayat. , Bertini was told by a 37-year-old man that his family mostly eats the WFP-subsidized rice with vegetables. "If I have more money, I buy some fish."
In Tanah Tinggi there are about 7,793 households, of which 3,000 benefit from the WFP program.
Most of the men work as street vendors, on construction sites, as stevedores at train stations, or porters in the markets, while many women earn money by washing clothes. The average weekly income per household is around 60,000 rupiah.
"We try to help them to have access to food because the biggest problem for people who are desperately poor is access to food," Bertini told reporters.
"There may be enough food in the country, (but) they don't have enough income to have access it," she said.
Bertini said the WFP program has been very effective because the 14 local nongovernmental organizations Transnational organizations of private citizens that maintain a consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Nongovernmental organizations may be professional associations, foundations, multinational businesses, or simply groups with a common interest in (NGOs) which are involved in managing the program are "very organized and systematic."
She said the NGOs are "very cautiously making sure the program runs properly and that the intended recipients of the food actually receive the food."
The WFP plans to extend the program for another 18 months from April, Bertini said.
Because of the lingering impact of the Asian financial crisis coupled with Indonesia's economic crisis, the WFP has provided food for 5.2 million Indonesians, including those in the very poor urban and rural areas, refugees and primary school children.
Since mid-1998, the WFP has provided Indonesia with 300,000 tons of rice and 17,000 tons of blended food, valued at $145 million.