Hello and Selamat pagi!
I am delighted to be here for this celebration to mark the successful conclusion of the MCC compact activities.
We are here to celebrate the work we have done together across three sectors to improve procurement efficiency and effectiveness, to catalyze green growth and to promote better nutrition in Indonesia to reduce stunting.
I’d like to begin by recognizing the many dignitaries present from the Government of Indonesia, MCA Board, project implementers, key stakeholders, and many others. Without your support, this partnership between the Government of Indonesia and MCC could never have accomplished so much.
Over the past few days I have been able to travel to see first-hand the impact of this compact on the lives of Indonesians—and it is way beyond what I could have imagined from my office in Washington DC.
In a village on Lombok, I met Ibu Mini, a salt farmer who told us how the MCA-Indonesia project changed her life.
Ibu Mini and the other women salt farmers now have more efficient ways to collect and process sea salt. Their product is not only earning them a greater income, but they also have more time since they are no longer transporting water by hand.
At Posyandu Muhajirin I met health workers, mothers and babies who have benefitted from improved health monitoring, nutrition and sanitation practices. Through these efforts, they are establishing a stronger future for their children and communities.
In the watershed of Mount Rinjani, I met members of the community that patrol the forest who are now using an innovative technology product called “SmartPatrol” to stop deforestation and promote responsible development.
I also heard from the leaders of a procurement service unit in Lombok who took on the challenging task of reforming how government purchases what it needs to serve the people of Indonesia in the public hospitals, schools, offices and other institutions.
With this compact, MCC partnered with the Government of Indonesia to invest in the potential of this nation’s people and its economy.
This was a compact by Indonesians and for Indonesians, from the design through the implementation—to tackle identified barriers to economic growth and to align with the Government’s priorities for moving the nation forward. The Indonesia Compact had three projects:
The Nutrition Project was designed to reduce stunting and chronic malnutrition. The project improved the capacity of health service providers, strengthened community health, education, and sanitation efforts and perhaps most important, shaped a national conversation on nutrition and the prevention of stunting. When children are able to grow to their full physical and cognitive potential they are healthier, they learn more in school, they earn more as adults, and they contribute more to the future of their communities and their and nation.
Next, turning to the Procurement Modernization Project, this project was designed to improve the efficiency of how the Government procures goods and services. It piloted new methods and introduced a new digital system to improve the effectiveness of government spending, while also establishing a professional procurement workforce within the Government of Indonesia.
That workforce is now poised to continue driving innovation in procurement. The results will be better goods and services, at more reasonable prices, and more transparency, providing fewer opportunities for corruption to siphon off benefits owed to the public.
Finally, through the Green Prosperity Project, the MCC compact supported the Government of Indonesia’s commitment to sustainable, equitable growth by improving natural resource management, and maximizing opportunities for investment in agriculture and renewable energy.
From the beginning, the Green Prosperity Project has partnered with the private sector, leveraging MCC’s investment. Collaboration with the business community—both large businesses and small holder farmers—is critical to creating the economic opportunity that spurs lasting growth.
For example, a $33 million investment by MCC leveraged an additional $26 million in co-financing in sustainable agriculture, peatland management, and renewable energy, including engagement with large private sector partners such as Mars, Cargill, Nestle, and Unilever.
Taking another example, MCC’s $19 million investment in the cocoa sector generated substantial additional investment from the private sector – those programs will reach nearly 90,000 cocoa growing households across the six main cocoa-growing provinces in Indonesia.
They will create new opportunities to increase productivity and income. Cocoa trading and processing companies are providing 50% of the co-financing to enroll up to 36,500 new farmers.
Furthermore, these will be certified, sustainable supply chains that will pay premiums to farmers for their certified beans.
This is proof that growing green pays in the long run on so many levels, from the farmer, to the community, to the supplier, to the planet.
At MCC we are an agency focused on data. We understand the importance of full information and knowledge in driving investment decisions.
This is why the Green Knowledge Activity facilitated the collection, application, and dissemination of knowledge and best practices to help build local, provincial, and national capacity. Data collection and analysis can lend powerful support to the Government of Indonesia’s development goals.
One of the strongest aspects of this compact is the combination of innovation and scalability.
This created a synergy that permits people to find what works and then make it bigger, to achieve even greater benefits at less cost.
In the Procurement Modernization and Nutrition Projects, we have seen not only national-level buy in, but also great passion and commitment among local governments to sustain the improvements that they have realized under the compact.
For example, in nutrition, when the compact began, there was not a word for ‘stunting’ in Bahasa.
While there had been other great work done to improve nutrition and sanitation in Indonesia, this project was the first to fund an explicitly “anti-stunting” project.
Now, not only is there a word for stunting in Bahasa, this program has contributed to a national dialogue about how proper nutrition can help people reach their full potential. Fighting stunting is now a national priority—with high-level leadership committing to progress. We saw this recently at the Stunting Summit.
The MCA-Indonesia nutrition project was just one of the programs that is helping Indonesians to fulfill their great potential to live happier, healthier, more productive lives to pursue their hopes and dreams.
In all three projects, this compact established a strong foundation of progress. The Government of Indonesia is well-positioned to build on that foundation.
It has truly been a pleasure to be with you here today to mark this auspicious occasion.
I know that the United States and Indonesia will continue to enjoy our productive partnership based on shared values and a commitment to expand our cooperation on issues of peace, stability, and economic prosperity.
I look forward to witnessing the next phase of successes as the Government of Indonesia carries forward the important initiatives of the MCC compact, benefiting more and more Indonesians across the country.
The benefits of this compact are sure to resonate and radiate for years to come.
Termia Khasih! Selamat! Thank you and congratulations.