© UNICEF/NYHQ1999-0964/Holmes

A man and his daughter sit together in Dili, the capital. Civil unrest, high levels of violence and natural disasters have contributed to an increased prevalence of malnutrition, the highest in the region.


Timor-Leste with half of its population under age 18 still faces multiple challenges. Humanitarian needs were of concern after the April-May 2006 crisis, which resulted in the destruction of 6,000 homes and was followed by the displacement of over 100,000 people. In 2008, the number of camps for internally displaced persons is decreasing as the Government is supporting their return and reintegration. Despite this recent positive development, the overall situation remains fragile. Civil unrest and natural disasters are among periodic challenges. Hazards increasingly impact the districts by gradually eroding the coping mechanisms of many. Timor-Leste has the highest malnutrition prevalence in the region, and the situation is deteriorating: 49 per cent of all children under age five are underweight, 54 per cent are stunted and 25 per cent are wasted. Children are at particular risk of violence, abuse and exploitation. Socio-economic factors constrain the protective capacities of parents and communities.


Discussions are underway to initiate the roll-out of standby clusters in Timor-Leste in 2009. UNICEF-led sectors will continue to enhance emergency preparedness and response both in-house and within the sectors. UNICEF-supported programmes will continue to reach vulnerable populations.

Health and Nutrition: UNICEF will strengthen the community-based networks through the Family Health Promoter Programme for interaction with the Ministry of Health, in order to expand service coverage; train 50 district health staff in therapeutic feeding; and continue to implement the infant and young child feeding communication strategy throughout the country.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: UNICEF will provide safe water supply systems and support sanitation and hygiene promotion in 30 schools/communities benefiting 4,200 children (21,000 people) in six districts; build water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) partners’ emergency preparedness and response capacity through continuous trainings; and maintain a minimum WASH emergency stock for 15,000 people.

Education: UNICEF will continue to support the establishment of an Emergency Education Unit within the Ministry of Education to coordinate emergency preparedness and response planning at all levels, and the production and distribution of school kits based on locally available resources.

Child Protection: UNICEF will support community-based Child Protection Networks at all levels to monitor and report child protection concerns and protect children from violence, exploitation and abuse; and support the Ministry of Social Solidarity and the Ministry of Justice to implement new policies and procedures related to children’s protection in emergencies.

Adolescents and Youth Participation: UNICEF will continue to provide life skills-based education for 5,000 young people and support HIV/AIDS prevention activities targeting 20,000 young people in and out of school in all 13 districts.
Advocacy and Communication: UNICEF will develop, produce and disseminate key information materials on children and women’s protection, health, education, early childhood care and development; and maintain a minimum stock of UNICEF advocacy supplies for emergency.

Emergency Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation: Emergency preparedness and response is an integral part of UNICEF’s Country Programme. Emergency coordination should carry on in 2009 to further enhance sectoral coordination in-house, with the Government and at inter-agency level.

Summary of UNICEF Emergency Needs for 2009*
Sector US$
Health and Nutrition 1,100,000
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene 1,500,000
Education 300,000
Child Protection 300,000
Adolescents and Youth Participation 300,000
Advocacy and Communication 200,000
Emergency Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation 250,000
Total** 3,950,000

* Funds received against this appeal will be used to respond to both the immediate and medium-term needs of children and women as outlined above. If UNICEF should receive funds in excess of the medium-term funding requirements for this emergency, UNICEF will use those funds to support other underfunded emergencies.
** 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.