Sunday, July 21, 2024 | 05:49 WIB

UN Expresses Support for Free School Lunch Program: “Necessary and Effective Investment to Improve Nutrition”


Jakarta, IO – Jeffrey Sachs, economist and SDG advocate for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, opined that the Free School Lunch Program is an effective investment for improving Indonesian children’s nutritional needs during the recent “Building a Sustainable Future Through Lifelong Learning and Skill Development” public seminar, jointly organized by Prakerja, United in Diversity Foundation (UID), and The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). A summary of this seminar is available at

“The program is an excellent idea. It is an effective nutrition improvement program for the country, as the implementation starts early and in cooperation with schools,” Sachs said, Monday (8/7).

Even though he admitted that the program is costly, he believed that if properly executed, it will prove to be an investment with a significant impact and benefit, specifically for children and pregnant mothers. Furthermore, it will indirectly improve the quality of education in Indonesia.

“The program allows children and pregnant mothers to access nutritious food regularly. Therefore, we can prevent them from suffering from malnutrition and stunting, as well as lowered mental and physical growth and development. It supports formal learning process, and will also help with produce quality workers in the future,” Sachs said.

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Implementing this program will help Indonesia achieve its second Sustainable Development Goal, i.e., to achieve zero hunger. “SDGs are created as the proper framework that integrates government programs, including the Free School Lunch program. The 17 SDGs serve as guidelines for everyone to achieve a better, sustainable future,” Sachs said.

President-elect Prabowo Subianto conceived the program as one of his signature campaign promises in the 2024 presidential election. Previously, the government and House Budget Committee agreed to allocate Rp71 trillion from Budget 2025 to realize the program.


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