Unexpected floods in Jakarta last month displaced thousands of people, including children. In disaster situations such as this, it's easy to lose track of eating the right kind of foods for a healthy life. WFP and Kraft Indonesia joined hands to ensure that this doesn't happen especially to the children in the evacuation centers.
JAKARTA – Unexpected floods on 17 January forced some 2,400 people to evacuate their homes and seek temporary shelter at the Waduk Pluit Public Housing Compound in Muara Baru. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Indonesia moved quickly to assist and complement the relief and recovery operations in the worst flood-affected areas of North Jakarta.
WFP distributed 210 kilos of High Energy Biscuits (HEBs) from Kraft Indonesia to 300 vulnerable children under the age of five.
Natural disasters such as floods affect women and children disproportionately, with the children's nutritional status suffering the most.
"The importance of macronutrients such as carbohydrates and protein as well as micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals are often forgotten in emergencies," says WFP Nutritionist, Maria Catharina who monitors the distribution of HEBs.
"The parents should pay careful attention to the kinds of snacks their children eat. Fortified biscuits are much better than crackers or sweets which carry zero calories," she adds.
The biscuits were received by the camp’s coordinator, 31-year-old Astrifah Nasir, or “Ipah” as she is known around the compound.
"This support means a lot for the young kids staying at this compound,” says Ipah. “All this time the children have been eating foods which are not enough for their growth needs”.
Ipah, who is also a kindergarten teacher, says the assistance was very timely since the children in the compound have been fed the same meals as adults twice a day from the communal kitchen.
Ipah and her colleagues immediately gave out the biscuits to families with children under five in the compound. Each child received 24 packs of biscuits good for seven days.
WFP distributes fortified nutritious foods such as HEBs during emergencies as they are ready-to-eat and provide the required daily nutritional needs.
In addition to distributing HEBs, WFP also provided communication materials on the importance of maintaining good hygiene – hand washing with soap and sanitation practices as well as practical tips for good health.
WFP believes that practical knowledge on hygiene, nutrition and health should be promoted and made accessible despite the limitations and the conditions in temporary shelters like those in Muara Baru.