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Jakarta Post

Awaiting a morsel of hope, 22 million Indonesians go hungry

  • Markus Makur, Jon Afrizal and Made Anthony Iswara

    The Jakarta Post

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The Jakarta Post/East Nusa Tenggara/Jambi/Bali   /   Wed, November 13, 2019   /  09:32 am
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Tobias Akut, 65, repairs his makeshift house in Ranakolong village in East Manggarai regency, East Nusa Tenggara, on Nov. 8.(JP/Markus Makur)

Outside an asbestos-roofed shack in East Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), 62-year-old Valeria Panu eats a bowl of plain rice. “Three times a day I eat [only] rice. I eat corn, sweet potato or vegetables only during harvest seasons. Or fish if I’m fortunate enough to have enough money to buy it,” said Valeria, who survives on money from her children, aside from occasional cocoa harvest revenue that amounts to around Rp 1.25 million (US$88.87) per year. Nearby, Tobias Akut, 65 years old, lives in a ramshackle bamboo house with an asbestos roof that looks ready to collapse in a mountainous plantation area of East Manggarai. Tobias, his wife and nine children sometimes get handouts of rice from neighbors and family members, otherwise they eat cassava or corn stockpiled from their previous year’s harvest. “I collect firewood for sale, working on a pl...