Monday, October 7, 2013

Bridging the gap: nutrition in Indonesia

By Bohdana Szydlik, UNICEF Australia

UNICEF Australia Communication Officer Bohdana Szydlik standing in front of a local rice field.
© UNICEF Indonesia/2013/Szydlik.

Each morning I cross a bridge where a mother and her small child sit. The child sleeps, the mother shakes a container to collect small change, and together they wait for time to pass. Just down the road is a marble-floored shopping mall, with the types of high-end stores you might see on the Champs-Elysées: Gucci, Topshop, Audi.

Since the fall of president Suharto 15 years ago, Indonesia has become one of the largest economies in South East Asia. Yet much of Indonesia's wealth remains in the hands of a privileged few, with 50 per cent of the population still living on less than US $1.75 a day.