Indonesia: Is our social protection system ready for natural disasters?

Source(s): Jakarta Post, the

By Naimah Talib

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Although Indonesia is known to be prone to natural disasters due to seabed landslides and being located in the “Pacific Ring of Fire”, comprehensive plans and actions to deal with these risks are still lacking.

The central and regional governments have been working hard to deliver social protection policies in 2018. However, are we sure enough that we are not missing anything to realize SDGs goal 1 (end poverty), goal 5 (gender equality) and the vision of “Golden Indonesia 2045”?

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So far responses towards disasters have been largely residual social protection, through on-request disaster funds and the presidential instruction to develop and implement the curricula on the mitigation and readiness against natural disasters. What else should we do to lift up thousands of people affected by the disasters? Some may fall into poverty, or worse, some might have become even poorer than before the disasters.

Obviously, no single solution can overcome vulnerability and risks, especially considering the uncertainty and complexity of natural disasters. Social risk management, a framework first introduced by experts in 2000, shed light to approach this issue through policies related to disaster: ex-ante (prevention and mitigation) and ex-post (coping strategies) disasters. Some examples of ex-ante policies are policies in health, education, technology adoptions, investment in social and hard infrastructure, migration, and labor policies, which aim for sustainable and resilient communities.

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