Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous country, with a population of 237 million (Population Census 2010). It ranks 124th out of 187 countries in the 2011 Human Development Index. Following remarkable socio-economic and political progress since the return to democracy in 1998, Indonesia is now a lower-middle-income country, a G20 member, the largest economy of the Association of SouthEast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and one of Asia’s most decentralized democracies.
Despite notable advances, development has been uneven. Food insecurity and under-nutrition are persistent challenges, particularly in eastern provinces, where stunting levels are alarmingly high. In Indonesia, 7.7 million children under 5 (36.8%) are stunted (2007). Indonesia is the 5th country with the largest number of stunted children. The stunting rate is higher than 30% in most districts (ranging from 23-58%).
The second joint between Government and WFP Food Security and Vulnerability Atlas (FSVA) of Indonesia, which was issued in 2009 and launched by the President in 2010, shows that food-insecure districts are concentrated in the eastern provinces of Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT), Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB) and Papua. Regional disparities in terms of human development and resources are exacerbated by low technical and administrative capacity at the provincial and local levels.
Indonesia is highly vulnerable to natural disasters – earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. In 2010, it ranked second in the world in terms of vulnerability to extreme weather and geophysical events. On average, 1 million people are affected by disasters annually.
In addition to that, climate change is a major threat for the future – droughts, floods and mudslides are expected to increase in frequency and exacerbate chronic food insecurity, and emergency responses will place a heavy burden on national financial resources.