© UNICEF/HQ99-0956/Holmes

A child in Dili, capital of Timor-Leste. The country continues to suffer from the political unrest in 2006. And almost half of all under-five children are chronically malnourished.


The children of Timor-Leste are still suffering the consequences of the violence that resulted from the political and civil unrest in 2006. A large majority of the population displaced then lives in camps, mainly in the capital Dili, and a significant number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) remain with host families in the districts. For many, return is not yet a viable option. The nutritional status of children and lactating mothers continues to deteriorate. Around 49 per cent of under-five children are chronically malnourished, and 46 per cent are underweight. Combined effects of frequent and severe infectious diseases, constant malnutrition and parasites have led to an under-five mortality rate of 130 deaths per 1,000 live births. Children are particularly vulnerable, especially in camps where they face increased risks of physical and gender-based violence, and trafficking. The situation remains volatile; violence flared up in some districts following the announcement of the new Government and triggered further displacement. Schools have been burnt and vandalized. Children continue to be victims of violence.


UNICEF is actively involved in many of the sectoral working groups – formed after the crisis to coordinate the emergency response – in particular providing joint leadership with the government in the sectors of child protection, education and water, sanitation and hygiene.

Health and nutrition: UNICEF will ensure that the Ministry of Health staff is equipped to deliver in-patient therapeutic feeding countrywide and community-based therapeutic feeding in one pilot district for children, as well as preventative and curative care against malaria and other vector- and water-borne diseases.

Water, sanitation and hygiene: UNICEF will provide safe, clean and reliable water supply systems and support sanitation and hygiene promotion in at least 50 schools/communities in six districts; build up and maintain a minimum emergency stock of water storage tanks, water purification tablets, construction materials, water and hygiene kits and other emergency supplies for 10,000 IDPs.

Education: UNICEF will support the development of emergency school kits based on locally available resources or on regionally easily accessible resources. The kits will include teaching-learning materials as well as teachers’ manuals to address specific needs in times of emergency, such as stress management and conflict resolution.

Child protection: A total of 30,000 crisis-affected children and their families will benefit from community-based interventions and receive psychosocial support through play and recreation. In addition, UNICEF will provide the Government, particularly the Ministry of Social Solidarity and the Ministry of Justice, with technical assistance and human resources to implement new policies and procedures related to children’s protection in emergencies (e.g., guidelines on separated and unaccompanied children).

Summary of UNICEF financial needs for 2008


Health and nutrition 700,000
Water, sanitation and hygiene 1,500,000
Education 200,000
Child protection 256,800
Adolescents/youth and HIV/AIDS  300,000
Advocacy and communication 200,000
Emergency coordination, monitoring and evaluation 250,000
Total* 3,406,800

* The total includes a maximum recovery rate of 7 per cent. The actual recovery rate on contributions will be calculated in accordance with UNICEF Executive Board Decision 2006/7 dated 9 June 2006.


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