High level delegation from United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office visits Ministry of Health and UNICEF nutrition programme in Timor-Leste

06 December 2022
High level delegation from United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office visits Ministry of Health and UNICEF nutrition programme in Timor-Leste
UNICEF Timor-Leste/2022/Monemnasi

DILI, 6 DECEMBER 2022 – A high-level delegation of the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office visited a Ministry of Health (MoH) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) managed nutrition programme in Baucau Municipality today. The Director for South-East Asia and Pacific of the United Kingom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Develoment Office, Ms. Joelle Jenny, led a delegation comprising the Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Indonesia and Timor-Leste, Owen Jenkins, and Foreign Policy Counsellor, Haden Spicer. 

During the visit, the delegation met with the President Authority of Baucau, Sr. Olivio Freitas, representative from Municipality Health Services, Community members and mother support groups in Triloka. 

“Timor-Leste has made significant progress in nutrition over the past 20 years since the restoration of Independence. However, not every child, adolescent or mother benefit from this progress, and we want to understand better the barriers which prevent every child and mother from having access to the nutrition they need to thrive”, said Joelle Jenny, the UK Government’s FCDO Regional Director. “Interventions such as these are the key to accelerating that progress for ending malnutrition in the country.”

During the visit to Baucau, the delegation visited Suko Triloka and met with community leaders and members, and the mother support group in the district to assess progress, understand the barriers and existing initiatives that focus on improving access to nutrition through locally available food items and traditional diets for mothers and Children below 5 years, promote breastfeeding, increase and sustain coverage of Micronutrient supplements and early identification of severely acutely malnourished children for referral and treatment to health system.

The Timor-Leste Food and Nutrition Survey 2020 shows that 53% of Timorese children are not breastfed within an hour of birth, 36% are not exclusively breastfed, and bottle feeding stands at 32% with as high as 53% in Dili. With almost every second child being stunted (47.1 percent of children under five years of age), Timor-Leste has the third highest prevalence of stunting and is among the only three countries in which at least half of children below 5 are stunted. 

“The Ministry of Health and partners such as UNICEF have led a multi-pronged effort to effectively raise awareness, promote health seeking behaviour, and provide appropriate nutrition related services for children and mothers. These have resulted in some progress being made toward reducing malnutrition rates between 2003 and 2020” said H.E. dr. Odete Maria Freitas Belo, Minister of Health. “We have shown that its possible to make progress, but which now needs to be accelerated through training and capacity building of nutrition staff, increased awareness on childrens diets and increased effectiveness in service delivery.”

UNICEF is also spearheading and supporting a wide range of other actions with the Ministry of Health to end malnutrition in Timor-Leste. 

“Every child, adolescent and mother require good nutrition, without which there could be high rates of Nutritional deficiencies and illness and even death amongst children and their families. Children below 2 years already are the most vulnerable, and malnutrition is robbing them of a healthy future,” says Bilal Durrani, Country Representative of UNICEF. “We are slowly turning this situation around for children and mothers, and these efforts need to be expanded country-wide if we are to meet SDG and national targets, and more importantly, make sure that every mother and child has the right quantity and quality of nutritional diets to thrive.

At present, UNICEF works with the Ministry of Health through one of the the Breastfeeding promotional activity at a Breastfeeding Café in Dili’s Guido Valadares National Hospital. In addition ,wide scale training of health workers on infant and young child feeding counselling, and skill development of over 6,000 members of mother support groups in all 452 Sucos in every municipality in Timor-Leste to raise awareness on breastfeeding and dietary diversity for children and mothers, and undertaking multi-media and interpersonal efforts to raise awareness through community engagement, social media, information session at health promotion corner in every community health centers. 

UNICEF advocates and supports integrated basic service package from point of service delivery to ensure essential health and nutrition services are delivered through static health facilities and outreach services.



Delegasaun nivel aas husi Gabinate Negosiu Estranjeiru, Komunidade no Dezenvolvimentu Reinu Unidu vizita Ministeriu Saúde ho UNICEF nia Programa Nutrisaun iha Timor-Leste

Dili, 6 Dezembru 2022 – Delegasaun nivel aas husi Gabinete Negosiu Estranjeiru, Komunidade no Dezenvolvimentu Reinu Unidu vizita Ministeriu Saúde (MdS sigla Tetun) ho Fundu Nasoins Unidas ba Labarik (UNICEF sigla Inglés) programa jestaun nutrisaun iha Munisipiu Baucau ohin loron. Diretor Sudueste Aziatiku no Pasifiku Segosiu Estranjeiru Reinu Unidu, Komunidade no Dezenvolvimentu, Sra. Joele Jenny, lidera delegasaun ida konpostu husi Embaxador Reinu Unidu ba Indenézia no Timor-Leste, Owen Jenkins, ho konselleiru polítika esterna Haden Spicer. 

Iha sira-nia vizita, delegasaun ne’e hasoru ho Prezidende Autoridade Munisipiu Baucau, Sr. Olivio Freitas, reprezentatnte husi Servisu Saúde Munisiplal sira, membru komunidade sira no Grupu Suporta Inan iha Triloka. 

“Timor-Leste halo ona progresu signifikativu iha nutrisaun hahú tinan 20 liu ba desde husi restaurasaun independensia. Maibe la’os labarik, adolesente ka inan hotu benefisia husi progressu ne’e, no ita hakarak atu kompriende didiak nia barreira sira mak impede labarik no inan atu hetan asesu ba nutrisaun mak sira nesesita ba kresimentu,” dehan Joelle Jenny, Diretora Rejional FCDO Reinu Unidu. “Intervensaun hanesan sira ne’e mak xave atu aselera progresu sira ne’e hodi halakon malnutrisaun iha país ne’e.”

Durante vizita iha Baucau, delegasaun ne’e vizita ona Suku Triloka no hasoru ho lider komunitaria ho nia membru sira, no ho Grupu Suporta Inan iha distritu hodi avalia progresu sira, kompriende kona-ba bareira sira no inisiativa ezistente sira mak foka ba melloramentu asesu ba nutrisaun liu husi aihan lokal no dieta tradisional disponivel sira ba inan no labarik tinan lima mai kraik sira, promove susubeen inan, aumenta no mantein kobertura suplementu Mikronutriente sira no identifikasaun sedu ba labarik sira ho malnutrisaun grave atu halo tratamentu referral ba sistema saude. 

Peskiza Aihan no Nutrisaun Timor-Leste tinan 2020 ne’e hatudu katak labarik Timor-oan sira pursentu 53 mak la susu susubeen inan iha oras dahuluk hafoin moris, pursentu 36 mak la susu susbeen inan ekskluzivu, susu ho bibiron pursentu 32 aas hanesan Dili ho pursentu 53. Ho kuaze labrik rua husi labarik hotu raes-badak (labarik tinan lima mai kraik pursentu 42,1), Timor-Leste iha prevalensia raes-badak aas-liu datolu entre úniku país tolu ne’ebe metade husi labarik tinan lima mai kraik raes-badak.  

“Ministeriu Saúde ho parseiru hanesan UNICEF lidera ona esforsu multilateral atu efetivamente hasa’e konsiensia, promove komportamentu buka asistensia saude, no oferese oportunidade nutrisaun relasiona ho servisu ba labarik no inan sira. Ida ne’e rezulta ona ba progresu balun ne’ebe halo ona hodi reduz taxa malnutrisaun entre tinan 2003 no 2020” dehan Sua Exelensia dr. Odete Maria Freitas Belo, Ministra Saúde. “Ita hatudu ona katak progresu ne’e posivel, maibe ida ne’ebe presiza agora atu aselera liu husi formasaun no kapasitasaun ofisial nutrisaun, konsientizasaun barak liu-tan kona-ba labarik sira-nia dieta sira no aumenta efetividade prestasaun servisu.”

UNICEF mós lidera hela ona no suporta asaun sira seluk ho Ministeriu Saúde atu halakon malnutrisaun iha Timor-Leste.

“Labarik hotu, adolesente no inan presiza nutrisaun ida diak, Se lae karik bele hasa’e taxa malnutirsaun no moras sira no mós bele mate ba labarik ho sira-nia familia sira. “Labarik sira tinan rua mai kraik mak vulneravel liu, no halakon sira-nia futuru saudável,” dehan Sr. Bilal Durrani, Reprezentativu País UNICEF. “Ita muda situasaun ne’e neineik ba labarik no inan sira, no esforsu sira ne’e presiza atu habelar ba país laran tomak karik atu atinji ODS ho alvu nasional sira, no importante liu mak atu garante labarik ho inan hetan kuantidade no kualidade dieta nutrisional lolos ba kresimentu.”

Agora dadaun, UNICEF servisu hamutuk ho Ministeriu Saúde liu husi atividade promosional fó susubeen inan iha Lidun Susubeen Inan iha Ospital Nasional Guido Valadares iha Dili. Alendisu, formasaun barak ba pesoal saude sira kona-ba akonsellamentu aihan ba babé no ba labarik, no dezenvolvimentu abilidade ba membru Grupu Suporta Inan 6.000 iha suku 452 iha munisipiu hotu iha Timor-Leste atu aumenta konsientizasaun kona-ba susubeen inan no dieta oinoin ba labarik no inan sira, no halao esforsu multimedia no interpersonal hodi hasa’e konsientizasaun liu husi involvimentu komunidade, media sosial, sesaun informasaun iha lidun promosaun saude iha sentru saude sira hotu.

UNICEF halao advokasia no apoia pakote servisru integradu baziku hodi garante pontu prestasaun servisu saude esensial no nutrisaun halao liu husi meoiu unidade saude estátikas no servisu estensaun sira. 


Ba informasaun detallu, bele kontaktu:

Ministeriu Saúde:
Dr. Frederico Bosco A. dos Santos, Diretor Nasional Saúde Públika (Tetun and English): frebosco@yahoo.com; +670 77870804 or +670 73985139. 

Ivo Freitas, Xefi Departementu Administrasaun & Relasoins Publikas, (Tetun and English): ivoireneudcf@gmail.com, +670.77230143. 


Rukshan Ratnam, Communication Specialist (English): rratnam@unicef.org; +670.77. 231.103.

Antonio Gomez, Communication Officer (Tetun): angomez@unicef.org; +670.77.232.441

Media contacts

Tapuwa Loreen Mutseyekwa
Advocacy and Communication Specialist
UNICEF Timor-Leste
Tel: +67077231103
Tel: +670 331 1297, Extension: 1820
Antonio Gomes
Communication Officer (Tetum)
UNICEF Timor-Leste
Tel: +670 7723 2441
Tel: +670 331 1300, Extension: 1821


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/timorleste

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