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The Newsletter 32 Autumn 2003

Four of the ten fastest-growing elderly populations worldwide can be found in Southeast Asia, and Indonesia has perhaps the most striking profile of them all. As the strengths and weaknesses of current provisions for the elderly are the best guide to the future, a sound knowledge of existing arrangements and their limitations is a necessary baseline for any examination of the issue. Is current support adequate? What gaps are there? How may a good level of support be defined? What capacity is there in current family and community arrangements to encompass a three or fourfold increase in the elderly? What role can local and international organizations most effectively play? These and other searching questions need to be asked, and the need to delve into the workings of local support networks means that answers will depend on data that economic and social surveys alone cannot provide.