100,000 People Facing ‘Food Crisis’ in Eastern Indonesia: Official
Nico Bala Nuhan, from the food resilience agency in the province, known as NTT, said a total of 95,937 people spread across 21 districts and cities were facing serious food shortages due to climate change-induced drought.
The districts included South Central Timor and North East Timor, Belu near the East Timor border, East Sumba, East Flores and Lembata in the Lesser Sunda Islands.
“So there are indeed people in NTT who are facing a food crisis, but not one million people as reported by several media [outlets],” he said.
Nico, however, said the crisis could indeed trigger famine and malnutrition.
He said the agency, known as the NTT BKPP, had taken active measures to lessen the impact of the drought, including short-term measures such as providing food, to mid-term solutions such as providing crop seeds, fertilizers and water pumps.
Longer-terms solutions included boosting irrigation infrastructure, he said.
Farmer Empowerment Through Agriculture Technology and Information (FEATI) programs also needed to be implemented to provide adequate clean water and fight poverty, he said.