September 16, 2019
Username:
 In Food Instability and Political Crises

Country: Indonesia
Delegate Name: Hope Orban

United Nations Development Programme
Food Instability and Political Crisis
Republic of Indonesia
Hope Orban
Forest Hills Eastern

Food insecurity is a disastrous issue that must be addressed in our modern society. The Food and Agricultural Organization has reported that nearly 30% of the global population was moderately or severely food insecure last year. This number has risen exponentially from before the COVID-19 pandemic. Other factors that harm our world, like climate change and conflict, also contribute to world hunger. Increases in temperature, natural disasters, increased carbon emissions, and water scarcity all escalate global food insecurity. Wars and conflicts, like the current war between Ukraine and Russia, disrupt economic activity and the lives of citizens. The World Food Programme reports that 60% of the world’s hunger is living in areas affected by war and violence. Food insecurity inevitably leads to unrest in a nation’s population. Losing faith in their government, people migrate out of their countries or take up arms against their governments. These destructive political crises are direct results of food insecurity.

Scoring a 17.9 on the Global Hunger Index Scale, Indonesia has a moderate level of hunger. It ranks 77th out of 121 on the GHI scale. Foreign imports are important to the country. Indonesia is the number one importer of wheat in the world. According to the United Nations, Indonesia imported about $919 million of wheat from Ukraine in 2021. Wheat is used in instant noodles, an important food in Indonesia, especially for lower-income citizens. The Russo-Ukrainian war drastically decreased the importation of this grain. Though Indonesia has been able to rely on its own crops, it has not weathered this loss well. Despite holding a mostly neutral stance on the Russian-Ukraine conflict, President Joko Widodo invited President Zelensky to the G20 conference this year to discuss food insecurity. In an attempt to combat food insecurity, Indonesia attempted to introduce the food estate program. This program, however, has been deemed a failure due to its general ineffectiveness, harm to local farmers and crops, and negative impact on the environment. COVID-19 has, in general, led to a greater hunger crisis in Indonesia that needs to be addressed. Many issues relating to the pandemic are certainly shared by other countries, and Indonesia hopes to find solutions to them together. Indonesia is currently going through some political and social conflicts and does not wish for food instability to contribute to unrest. Rising costs for palm oil and other foods have already created discontent in the population, and Indonesia seeks to lower those prices to decrease unrest.

After the ineffectiveness of the food estates program, Indonesia seeks a solution to hunger that can resolve the issue while also protecting the environment. A good way to achieve this is by growing food locally. This will decrease environmental impact, bring communities together, increase employment in rural areas, and increase health. Farmers moving their businesses online will aid in the distribution and increase their access to the market. Technological advancements in general will aid in making Indonesia a sustainable producer of food. The National Medium Term Development Plan 2020-2024 (RPJMN) details ways to grow food sustainably and improve the diet of Indonesians. Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) encompasses many aspects of decreasing hunger and promoting healthy eating. Through these policies and advancements, Indonesia hopes to create a politically sound society that does not struggle with hunger.

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