Saturday, July 20, 2024 | 22:36 WIB

Free school lunch program effective to raise people’s welfare, economist says

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Jakarta, IO – Doddy Ariefianto, economist as Bina Nusantara University, agrees with the World Bank’s statement that the free school lunch program launched by President-elect Prabowo Subianto will have a positive impact on the economy of Indonesian households and will raise the welfare of the community, especially in areas plagued by high poverty levels.

In the report titled “Indonesia Economic Prospects, June 2024”, the World Bank also stated that the free school lunch program has several objectives, namely improving health and nutrition, increasing school attendance and learning, and social protection.

Doddy hoped that Prabowo’s signature campaign promise can also be extended to include nutritional interventions for children aged 0-3. “Because critical nutritional needs are from 0 to 3 years old,” he said, Thursday (27/6).

Doddy explained that this time period is called the golden period for children who need to optimize their nutritional needs. He said that if nutrition is not met, the impact will not only be on the physical, but also on the intelligence.

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“If children in their golden years are malnourished, they will become under-achievers in the future. And that will be a burden for the country,” explained Doddy.

The free school lunch program is a popular program that has been implemented in various countries. In 2022, the World Bank reported that there were 418 million children in the world who benefited from this program. (un)

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