Jakarta, November 18, 2016 — On her first official visit to Indonesia as World Bank Vice President for the East Asia and Pacific, Victoria Kwakwa reaffirmed the World Bank’s commitment to supporting Indonesia’s efforts to achieve higher economic growth and greater prosperity for its 250 million people.
During her five-day visit, Kwakwa met with Indonesia’s Vice-President Jusuf Kalla and key ministers including Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Darmin Nasution, Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Manpower, Muhammad Hanif Dhakiri, Minister of Public Works and Housing Basuki Hadimuljono, and Minister of Agrarian and Spatial Planning, Sofyan Djalil. She also met with representatives from civil society, opinion leaders, private sector, and development partners.
In her meetings with various stakeholders, Kwakwa discussed a range of issues, including the government’s reform efforts to achieve higher and more inclusive growth, through attention to macroeconomic stability, structural reforms, and greater focus on infrastructure and human capital investments.
“Indonesia’s progress in strengthening macroeconomic fundamentals and recent improvements in the business climate will help achieve its growth objectives against a challenging global environment. The country is also setting a good example of how strategic policy reforms and a focus on service delivery at the local level can benefit the poor and contribute to lower poverty rates.” said Kwakwa.
She also visited the special region of Yogyakarta and saw firsthand how communities and local authorities were working together to improve access to basic services, including heath, clean water and sanitation, and upgrade living conditions in slums. These programs are helping address one the country’s most pressing challenges: childhood malnutrition. Indonesia has the world’s fifth-highest rate of stunting, affecting about nine million children under the age of five.
“The World Bank is very encouraged by the government’s commitment to reducing stunting and malnutrition. During our visit to projects supported by the PAMSIMAS (Community-based water supply and sanitation) and Generasi (Health and Bright Generation) programs, we saw how effective collaboration between governments and communities can deliver clean water and health services to the communities and subsequently improve their quality of life and future opportunities,” said Kwakwa.
The PAMSIMAS program, supported by the World Bank, is active in 32 provinces across the country. The Generasi program, also supported by the World Bank, covers 5,500 villages across 11 provinces. Both programs address key drivers of stunting such as lack of access to clean water and sanitation and health services.