Food Security Under COVID-19 in Indonesia: From Protection to Empowerment

    Research output: Working paper


    The strategy to contain and mitigate COVID-19 transmission through strict mobility restriction, including a lockdown option by governments around the globe, can be counterproductive to human security. This is especially concerning for both human and food security if such control measures are implemented without being accompanied by a sound social protection mechanism. This article aims to understand the devastating downside risk caused by COVID-19 and the impact on vulnerable populations in Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia. Informed by protection and empowerment paradigms, this Working Paper asks: (1) What is the impact of COVID-19 on food access and nutrition security among the most vulnerable groups in our communities; (2) What were the measures taken by external stakeholders to protect and empower COVID-19 affected communities between March 2020 and March 2021. The author adopts a triple-helix security approach to explore the extent to which COVID-19 has impacted food security in Indonesia. This Working Paper combines literature review, content analysis, and online participant observation. The initial findings suggest COVID-19 presents a unique opportunity for Indonesia to experiment with one of the most extensive emergency cash transfer programs (CTP) in Indonesia’s modern history. Various forms of cash-transfer programs have emerged as a solid empowerment approach rooted in the libertarian paternalism paradigm to ensure access to income and food security However, gaps in leadership, decision-making, and timing of cash distribution have compromised peoples’ survivability, and therefore human security is at stake
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationTokyo
    PublisherJICA Institute
    Number of pages31
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

    Publication series

    NameHuman Security and Practices of Empowerment in East Asia Research Project
    PublisherJICA Ogata Research Institute

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