Flores is a group of islands in the eastern part of Indonesia. Around two million people live in this area, which is Indonesia’s newest touristic hotspot, with white empty beaches and volcanoes to visit. However, the island group also remains one of the poorest areas in Indonesia, and this recurrent poverty entails high levels of malnutrition.Children especially are vulnerable to the living conditions in poverty, and are affected most by malnutrition.
Since 1996, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Flores.
Although Indonesia is the largest economy in Southeast Asia, inequality grows between rural and urban populations, and between the different islands, divided in provinces. This can be noticed on the island of Flores, which is part of the province of East Nusa Tenggara. Indeed, this is the fourth poorest province in Indonesia, with a poverty rate of 21%. This is much higher than the national rate of 10%. The increase in tourism has led to some improvements, but many areas, especially in more rural zones, continue to lack basic infrastructure - good roads, water, sanitation, as well as services such as health care and education. Children are most affected by the difficult living conditions caused by poverty.
Indonesia ranks fifth highest for stunting and fourth for wasting in the world, for children below 5 years old. Indeed, in Indonesia, 10% of children suffer from wasting (low weight for height) and 30% of children suffer from stunting (low height for age).
The percentage in Flores is much higher. There, between 40% and 50% of children suffer from stunting, which is a result from undernutrition and can have lasting effects on the children’s health.
A balanced nutrition and also better hygienic conditions could help prevent malnutrition.