Government of Japan and UNICEF sign USD 3 million partnership agreement to support nutrition programming in Timor-Leste

02 March 2022
Government of Japan and UNICEF sign USD 3 million partnership agreement to support nutrition programming in Timor-Leste
UNICEF Timor-Leste/2022

DILI, 2 MARCH 2022 –The Government of Japan and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) signed an agreement for USD 3 million that would support nutrition programming in Timor-Leste over a two-year period (2022 and 2023). The partnership would address child and maternal malnuturition, including stunting, wasting and micronutrient deficiencies. The programme will focus on promoting better nutrition practices for children (from conception to 24 months), adolescents and mothers; treating children suffering from acute malnutrition; strengthening national systems and community networks; and helping reverse the high levels of malnutrition among children under five. Specific interventions will be implemented in Covalima, Lautem, Liquica and Manufahi municipalities and RAEOA Oe-cusse. 

“We have made progress in reversing some of the negative trends of malnutrition in Timor-Leste, including stunting and wasting, and moving in the right direction now thanks to our work with UNICEF and other partners. But a lot more needs to be done to accelerate progress to address malnutrition in the most critical time of children’s lives, before they turn two years of age, and ensure they survive, avoid stunting and wasting, and are ready for schools and lifelong learning,” said H.E. Dra. Odete Maria Freitas Belo, Minister of Health. “This generous support from the Government of Japan will help us collectively improve the nutrition status of infants, children, adolescents, and mothers.”

Stunting declined from 50.2 per cent to 47.1 per cent, while wasting reduced from 11 to 8.6 per cent between 2013 and 2020. 

However, malnutrition, particularly maternal and child undernutrition, remains the single greatest contributor to premature death and disability in Timor-Leste. With almost every second child being stunted (47 percent of children under five years of age), Timor-Leste has the fourth highest child stunting rate in the world with a rate that is more than double the global average and the third highest prevalence of stunting in the East Asia Pacific region. 

His Excellency, Taur Matan Ruak, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Timor-Leste called for a single, common, costed, measurable multisector consolidated national action plan for nutrition and food security (CNAP-¬NFS) to align partners and collectively work toward achieving SDG2, and and Maternal Infant and Young Child Nutrition targets. The National Health Sector Nutrition Strategic Plan (NHSNSP) 2020¬2025, led by the Ministry of Health, forms the foundation of the CNAP-NFS.

“Nearly 80% of a human’s brain develops by the age of two, and if stunting and wasting are not addressed in the first two years of a child’s life, it is already too late,” said Bilal Durrani, UNICEF’s Country Representative to Timor-Leste. “Children who are undernourished are more likely to die than their well-nourished peers. Those who survive are at a higher risk of stunting and wasting – and face life-changing deficiencies in their essential nutrients. Malnutrition in children affects cognitive and physical development, adversely impacting on a child’s education and employment prospects.” 

Key barriers to improving nutrition include inadequate infant and young child feeding practices, inadequate knowledge of maternal nutrition, childhood illnesses, and low access to water, sanitation and hygiene.

Under the project, Child Nutrition Improvement in Timor-Leste, Japan and UNICEF will support the Government of Timor-Leste’s efforts to accelerate reduction of undernutrition priorities and contribute to the reduction of stunting, underweight and wasting by end of 2023 among children 0-23 months. Efforts will also be made to improve coverage of micronutrient supplementation among adolescent girls through a high-impact nutrition intervention package in health facilities and schools and improve the delivery of nutrition interventions for mothers. The project will help treat 11,962 children suffering from acute malnutrition, provide counselling for 12,000 pregnant women, provide 20,000 adolescents with micronutrient supplements, and support other nutrition interventions. 

“Japan hosted the International Nutrition Summit late last year, and we were impressed by the strong commitment made by the Prime Minister, H.E.Taur Matan Ruak to improve the nutrition situation in Timor-Leste in his speech at the opening session. Japan continues to support Timor-Leste's efforts in bringing better nutrition status to the population. On behalf of the Government of Japan, I am pleased to sign a new contract with UNICEF for this USD 3 million assistance for the nutrition programme, on top of another USD 3 million assistance that we have just signed with WFP for the food security programme. This programme especially focuses on children, adolescents and mothers, as good nutrition and balanced diet in an early stage of life are essential for ensuring healthy growth of humans. I hope Japan's assistance to this programme will accelerate the improvement of the nutrition situation in this country,” said H.E. Masami Kinefuchi, the Ambassador of Japan to Timor-Leste. 

The partnership agreement was signed by H.E. Masami Kinefuchi, Ambassador of Japan to Timor-Leste on behalf of the Government of Japan, and Bilal Durrani, UNICEF Country Representative to Timor-Leste on behalf of UNICEF.

For more information, please contact: 
Ministry of Health:
Ivo Ireneu, Head of Pillar 2, COVID-19 response (Tetun and English):; +670 7723 0143.

Rukshan Ratnam, Communication Specialist (English):; +670.77. 231.103.
Antonio Gomez, Communication Officer (Tetun):; +670.77.232.441



Governu Japaun ho UNICEF asina akordu Millaun 3 hodi apoia programa nutrisaun iha Timor-Leste

Dili, 2 Marsu 2022 – Governu Japaun no Fundus Nasoins Unidas ba Labaraik (UNICEF sigla Inglés) asina ona akordu Dolar Amerikanu millaun 3 hodi apoia programa nutrisaun iha Timor-Leste ba periudu tinan rua liu (2022 no 2023). Parseria ne’e sei rezolve malnutrisaun maternal no infantil, inklui raes-badak, todan-menus no defisiensia mikronutriente sira. Programa ne’e sei foka ba promosaun prátika nutrisaun diak sira ba labarik sira (husi konsepsaun to’o labarik kompleta idade fulan 24), adolexente no inan sira, tratamentu ba labarik sira sofre hela ho malnutrisaun grave, reforsa sistema nasional no rede komunitária no ajuda hamenus nivel nutrisaun aas entre labarik sira tinan lima mai kraik iha país ne’e. intervensaun espesífika sira sei implementa iha Munisipiu Covalima, Lauten, Liquiça no Manufahi no RAEOA Oecusse.   

“Ami halo progresu sira hodi halo mudansa husi tendensia negativu balun husi malnutrisaun iha Timor-Leste, inklui raes-badak, no avansu sira ba diresaun loos agora, agradese ba ita nia servisu ho UNICEF no parseiru sira seluk. Maibe ita presiza halo buat barak hodi aselera progresu sira atu rezolve malnutrisaun durante periudu kritiku liu iha labarik sira nia moris, antes sira kompleta tinan rua, no garante katak sira sobrevive, labela raes-badak no todan-menus, no sira prontu ba eskola no aprendizajen ba tempu naruk,” dehan Sua Exelensia Dra. Odete Maria Freitas Belo, Ministra Saúde. “Kontribuisaun sira hanesan finansiamentu jenerozu husi Governu Japaun sei ajuda ita koletivamente mellora estatutu nutrisaun infantil, inan no adolexente sira.” 

Raes-badak tu’un ona husi pursentu 50,2 ba pursentu 47,1, ekuantu todan-menus reduz ona husi pursentu 11 ba pursentu 8,6 entre tinan 2013 no 2020.

Maske nune’e, malnutrisaun, partikularmente malnutrisaun maternal no infantil, kontinua sai kontribuidor singular boot ba mate prematuru no defisiensia iha Timor-Leste. Ho kuaze labarik ida husi labarik nain-rua mak ho raes-badak (pursentu 47 husi labarik sira tinan lima mai kraik), Timor-Leste iha taxa raes-badak aas-liu dahaat iha mundu ho taxa dobru liu media global no prevalensia raes-badak aas-liu datoluk iha rejiaun Azia Pasifiku Leste.  

Sua Exelensia, Primeiru Ministru Taur Matan Ruak, Republika Demokratika Timor-Leste halo apelu planu asaun nasional konsolidadu multisetor úniku, komun, ho kustu, bele sukat ba nutrisaun no seguransa alimentar (CNAP-NFS sigla Inglés) atu aliña parseiru sira servisu koletivamente hodi alkansa ODS2, no meta sira Maternal Infantil no labarik. Planu Estratejiku Nasional Nutrisaun Setor Saúde nian (NHSNSP sigla Inglés), lidera husi Ministeriu Saúde sai hanesan baze ba CNAP-NFS (sigla Inglés). 

“Kuaze pursentu 80 husi ema-nia kakutak dezenvolve to’o iha tinan rua, no wainhira raes-badak no todan-menus la rezolve kedas iha tinan rua dahuluk iha labarik nia moris, ne’e atraza liu ona,” dehan Bilal Durrani Reprezentante País UNICEF ba Timor-Leste. “Labarik sira ne’ebe mak sofre malnutrisaun iha probalidade atu mate duke sira-nia otas ho nutrisaun diak. Sira ne’ebe sobrevive moris ho risku husi raes-badak no todan-menus – no hasoru defisiensia ba nutriente esensiál sira iha perkursu mudansa moris nian. Malnutrisaun ba labarik afeta dezenvolvimentu kognitivu no fíziku, fó impaktu negativamente ba labarik-nia edukasaun no perspetiva sira empregu-nian.”

Barreira prinsipal sira atu hadiak nutrisaun inklui pratika sira fó han bebé no labarik mak la adekuadu, koñesimentu insufisente kona-ba nutrisaun maternal, moras infansia sira, kuran asesu ba bee moos, saneamentu no ijiene.

“Iha ámbitu projetu, Melloramentu Nutrisaun iha Timor-Leste, Japaun ho UNICEF sei apoia Governu Timor-Leste nia esforsu sira atu aselera redusaun husi prioridade malnutrisaun sira no kontribui ba redusaun raes-badak, todan-menus no krekas too tinan 2023 nia rohan ba labarik sira ho idade fulan 0-23. Esforsu sira mós sei halo atu hadiak kobertura suplementasaun nutriente entre feto adolexente sira liu husi pakote intervensaun impaktu nutrisaun aas iha fasilidade saude sira no eskola sira no mellora intervensaun nutrisional sira ba inan sira. Projetu ne’e sei ajuda trata labarik na’in 11.962 sira mak sofre hela ho malnutrisaun grave, fornese akonsellamentu mikronutriente ba inan isin-rua na’in12.000, fornese suplementu mikronutriente ba adolexente na’in 20.000 no apoiu intervensaun nutrisaun sira seluk.

“Japaun sai uma-nain ba Simeira Nutrisaun Internasional tinan kotuk, no ami impresionadu ho kompromisu forte asumidu husi Sua Exelensia Primeiru Ministru Taur Matan Ruak hodi mellora situasaun nutrisaun iha Timor-Leste iha nia diskursu iha sesaun abertura. Japaun kontinua apoia Timor-Leste nia esforsu sira hodi hadiak polulasaun-nia estatutu nutrisional. Hodi Governu Japaun nia naran, hau kontente atu asina kontratu foun ho UNICEF liuhusi asistensia Dolar Amerikanu millaun 3 ba programa nutrisaun, aleinde asistensia seluk husi Dolar Amerikanu millaun 3 mak ami asina ona ho WFP (sigla Inglés) ba programa seguransa alimentar. Programa ne’e foka espesialmente ba labarik, adolexente no inan sira, tanba nutrisaun diak no balansu dieta iha faze inisiu moris mak esensial atu garante kresimentu saudavel umana. Hau hein katak Japaun nia asistensia ba programa ne’e sei aselera melloramentu situasaun nutrisional iha país ne’e,” dehan Sua Exelensia Masami Kinefuchi, Embaxador Japaun ba Timor-Leste.  

Akordu parseria ne’e asina ona husi Sua Exelensia Masami Kinefuchi, Embaxador Japaun ba Timor-Leste hodi Governu Japaun nia naran, no Bilal Durrani, Reprezentate País UNICEF ba Timor-Leste hodi UNICEF nia naran.  


Ba informasaun detallu, favor kontaktu:
Ministeriu Saúde:

Ivo Ireneu, Xefi Pillar 2, Responde ba COVID-19 (Tetun and English):; +670 7723.0143


Rukshan Ratnam, Communication Specialist (English):; +670.7723 1103.
Antonio Gomez, Communication Officer (Tetun):; +670.7723 2441.

Media contacts

Rukshan Ratnam
Communication Specialist (English)
UNICEF Timor-Leste
Tel: +67077231103
Tel: +670 331 1300, Extension: 1820
Antonio Gomes
Communication Officer (Tetum)
UNICEF Timor-Leste
Tel: +670 7723 2441
Tel: +670 331 1300, Extension: 1821


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