TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - In an effort to fight childhood stunting and women dying during childbirth, Indonesia and the World Bank Group have agreed to find ways to reduce both health problems. The agreement was made following a meeting between Indonesia President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.
Kim said that the Bank's discussions with Indonesian authorities on health issues will begin in the coming weeks. Kim added that the discussion will involve experts who have had experience in dealing with both stunting and maternal mortality in middle and low-income countries.
"Stunting not only hurts physical growth – it also diminishes mental capacity," Kim said in a speech before students and faculty at the University of Indonesia on Thursday, May 21, 2015. "These children, and this country, pay a devastating price for this entirely preventable situation. It should not be allowed to persist."
On the same occasion, Kim also praised President Jokowi for his decision to allocate more resources to invest in providing health services for Indonesians. Indonesia currently spends only 1.2 percent of its GDP on health care, one of the lowest rates in the world.