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Working to narrow the gaps for Indonesia's children – UNICEF Annual Report 2012

JAKARTA, 7 August 2013 - Despite funding constraints that increasingly affect its operation in Indonesia, UNICEF in 2012 again achieved important results for children and women in the archipelago, particularly for those excluded from the country's strong economic growth.

"We are very grateful to our many friends and donors who support our work in Indonesia. Our Annual Report 2012 shows how they are helping us make a real difference for the children of the country. We ask them to continue supporting us, because we have a long road ahead of us. For UNICEF, every child counts. All children must have access to quality social services including health care, education, safe water and sanitation; all of them must be protected from harm and violence; and be able to exercise their right to participation without discrimination," said UNICEF Indonesia Representative Angela Kearney.

Millions of children are still excluded from Indonesia’s impressive development in recent years. According to government data, 44.3 million or more than 50% of all children in Indonesia are affected by poverty. This is a significantly higher proportion than among the adult population. The country has the third highest number of un-immunized children in the world and the fifth highest number of children suffering from stunting. More than 60 million people do not have a proper toilet and have to defecate in the open – the second highest number in any country. In the capital Jakarta the vast majority of women (97%) give birth with skilled assistance compared to only a third (33%) in Maluku.

Because of these shortfalls, up to 150,000 children die each year in Indonesia before reaching their fifth birthday. Most affected are the densely populated island of Java and the remote regions of Eastern Indonesia.

Through its 2011–2015 programme of cooperation with the Government of Indonesia and other partners, UNICEF addresses inequalities and exclusions affecting children in 14 priority provinces with the worst child and maternal statistics and which are home to 52 of the country’s 80 million children.

As outlined in its Annual Report, UNICEF in 2012

  • strengthened efforts to combat malnutrition through the development of a regulation on exclusive breastfeeding and a national plan to control iodine deficiency disorders;
  • helped implement Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programmes in 161 villages, 79 of which were declared 'open-defecation free' by the end of 2012;
  • developed an SMS-based application for mobile health in partnership with the phone company Nokia which aims to strengthen the capacities of midwives in supporting pregnant women;
  • supported the approval of a new law on the Juvenile Justice (Law No. 11/2012) that increases the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 8 to 12 years;
  • undertook studies and assessments to analyze disparities and exclusions in terms of services 

Based on the knowledge and evidence generated through these studies, UNICEF has been collaborating with decision makers to ensure that policies, budgets, and programmes target the most disadvantaged children and women in the country. Key strategies to achieve this include the strengthening of capacities of government institutions, the scaling up of best practices in terms of programmes as well as emergency preparedness and response.

"Progress in recent years has benefited many Indonesians. The country has met, or is on track to meet, 24 of the 35 indicators of the Millennium Development Goals. However, while this is an excellent result, it means that 11 important targets most likely will not be met. UNICEF is committed to assist its partners in the country to make sure that all children in Indonesia can grow up healthy, well-educated and protected from harm and exploitation.are reached with quality services,” said Angela Kearney.

Click here to read UNICEF Indonesia's Annual Report 2012 in PDF






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