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Indonesia's Plan to Implement Nationwide School Lunch Program

Indonesia's Plan to Implement Nationwide School Lunch Program

Indonesia is planning a nationwide school lunch program. President-elect Prabowo Subianto aims to provide free meals to 78.5 million students. The objective is to reduce malnutrition and stunted growth.

Currently, Indonesian schools rarely prepare meals. Students usually purchase food from canteens or street vendors, or bring lunch from home.

Japan is offering assistance through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). In September, JICA will host Indonesian officials in Tokyo and Nagasaki, sharing insights on Japan’s school lunch system and nutrition policies. Japan’s system started in 1889, focusing on nutrition and combating poverty. Lunches are designed by nutritionists, cooked on-site, and serve as educational tools for etiquette and healthy habits.

JICA is also considering sending experts to Indonesia’s new school meal organization. Discussions include support in areas such as hygiene standards and facility construction.

Indonesia is looking to Japan, China, and India for best practices. Prabowo visited a Beijing middle school in April. The Indian embassy noted Vice President-elect Gibran Rakabuming’s appreciation for India’s successful free school meals.

The program’s estimated annual cost is 450 trillion rupiah. The government plans to allocate 71 trillion rupiah for 2025.

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