Joining Forces for Vulnerable Populations: IOM and UNICEF Collaborate to Tackle Protection Risks during Emergencies

19 April 2023
Sigining ceremony between UNICEF and IOM
UNICEF Timor-Leste/2023/Bbenevides

Dili, Thursday, 20th April 2023 - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have signed a partnership agreement to jointly support Government and the people of Timor-Leste in preventing and responding to protection issues during emergencies.  

This regional initiative, “Addressing Protection Risks in Humanitarian Settings in Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea”, funded by the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), aims to improve mechanisms and capacities of stakeholders to address protection risks during periods of flooding, mudslides and other climate-induced catastrophes.

“Building on IOM’s existing efforts around internal displacement and protection of the most vulnerable populations, we are committed to providing humanitarian response” stated Ihma Shareef, IOM Chief of Mission in Timor-Leste. “We are proud to partner with UNICEF on this crucial project to address protection risks in humanitarian settings that Timor-Leste has been facing in recent years.”

Timor-Leste is highly prone to natural disasters, which often resulted in heightened risks of injuries, loss of lives, damage to public infrastructure, access restrictions, loss of assets, and disruptions to household’s livelihoods. For example, close to 33,835 households were affected by floods that swept across the country. 

"This collaboration will help to develop immediate and long-term solutions to ensure that the safety and protection of vulnerable populations, especially children, are prioritised during any emergency,” said UNICEF Representative, Bilal Durrani. “Through this project, we will support Government and other stakeholder to speedily identify, treat, and prevent protection issues among vulnerable groups during emergencies.” 

The Timor-Leste Joint Appeal & Flood Response Plan estimated that of the people affected by Typhoon Seroja flooding, 48.7 per cent were female, 21.1 per cent were children (aged 0-19), 13.5 per cent were elderly people (aged 65+), while 15 per cent were persons with disabilities.  The disruption of protection mechanisms services during emergencies, coupled with the separation of families and displacement, often increases Gender Based Violence and other protection concerns and the separation of families and displacement among these vulnerable groups. 

In Timor-Leste, major challenges exist in disaster risk management, including limitations in social safety nets, capacity to respond, and infrastructure.  Through this project, UNICEF and IOM will support the Government of Timor-Leste in further strengthening its system, building capacity, and raising awareness to address protection risks. 

Addressing protection risks within humanitarian settings is fundamental to achieving many of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal One on Poverty Eradication, Goal Five on Gender Equality and Goal 13 on Climate Change Action. 



Forsa Konjunta ba Populasaun Vulneravel sira: IOM no UNICEF kolabora hodi hasoru Risku Protesaun durante Emerjensia

Dili, Kinta-feira, 20 Abril 2023 - Organizasaun Internasional ba Migrasaun (IOM sigla Inglés) no Fundu Nasoins Unidas ba Labarik (UNICEF sigla Inglés) asina ona akordu parseria ida atu fó apoiu konjunta ba Governu no povu Timor-Leste iha prevensaun no resposta ba kestaun protesaun durante emerjénsia sira.

Inisiativa rejionál ne'e ho títulu "Hatan ba Risku Protesaun iha Kontestu Umanitariu sira iha Timor-Leste no Papua Nova Guiné," ne'ebé finansia husi Ajensia Estadus Unidus ba Dezenvolvimentu Internasional (USAID sigla Inglés) Gabinete ba Asistensia Umanitariu (BHA), ho objetivu atu hadi'a mekanizmu no kapasidade husi parte interesada sira atu hatan ba risku protesaun durante períodu inundasaun, erosaun no dezastre sira seluk ne'ebé kauza husi klima.   

"Haree ba esforsu sira ne'ebé IOM halo ona kona-ba deslokasaun interna no protesaun ba populasaun vulneravel sira, ami kompromete atu fó asisténsia umanitária" hateten Ihma Shareef, Xefe Misaun IOM nian iha Timor-Leste. " Ami orgullu tebes hodi parseria ho UNICEF iha projetu ne'e ne'ebé importante tebes hodi hatan ba risku protesaun nian sira iha fatin umanitáriu sira ne'ebé Timor-Leste hasoru ona iha tinan hirak foin lalais ne'e nia laran."    

Timor-Leste vulneravel tebes ba dezastre naturál sira, ne'ebé dala barak rezulta iha risku aas liu ba kanek, lakon vida, estraga infraestrutura publika, restrisaun ba asesu, lakon rikusoin, no estraga uma-kain nia moris. Porezemplu, totál uma-kain besik 33.835 afeta husi inundasaun ne'ebé suli iha nasaun laran tomak.  

"Kolaborasaun ida-ne'e, ne'ebé sei ajuda dezenvolve solusaun imediata no ba tempu naruk hodi asegura katak seguransa no protesaun ba populasaun vulneravel sira, espesialmente labarik sira, sai prioridade durante kualkér emerjénsia," dehan Reprezentante UNICEF, Bilal Durrani. " Liu husi projetu ida-ne'e, ita sei apoia Governu no parte interesada sira seluk atu identifika lalais, trata no prevene asuntu protesaun entre grupu vulneravel sira durante situasaun emerjénsia sira."   

Planu Konjunta & Resposta ba Inundasaun Timor-Leste nian estimativa katak husi populasaun sira ne'ebé afetadu husi inundasaun Tufaun Seroja, porsentu 48,7 mak feto, porsentu 21,1 mak labarik (tinan 0-19), porsentu 13,5 mak ferik-katuas (tinan 65+), no porsentu 15 mak ema ho defisiénsia sira. Disrupsaun ba mekanizmu protesaun no servisu sira iha tempu emerjénsia, akompaña husi separasaun família no deslokasaun, dala barak aumenta Violénsia Bazeia ba Jéneru no preokupasaun protesaun sira seluk no separasaun família no deslokasaun entre grupu vulneravel sira.   

Iha Timor-Leste agora dadaun, dezafiu boot sira ne'ebé eziste iha jestaun risku dezastre, inklui limitasaun iha rede seguransa sosial, kapasidade atu hatan no infraestrutura. Liu husi projetu ne’e, UNICEF no IOM sei apoia Governu Timor-Leste hodi reforsa liután ninia sistema, harii kapasidade, no hasa'e konsiénsia hodi hatan ba risku protesaun ne'ebé populasaun vulneravel liu hasoru iha fatin umanitária sira.   

Hatan ba risku protesaun iha fatin umanitáriu sira-nia laran fundamentál tebes atu atinji Objetivu Dezenvolvimentu Sustentavel 2030 barak, inklui Objetivu ida kona-ba Eliminasaun Pobreza, Objetivu Lima kona-ba Igualdade Jeneru no Objetivu 13 kona-ba Asaun ba Mudansa Klimatika.   


Ba informasaun detallu bele kontaktu:

Ihma Shareef, IOM Chief of Mission in Timor-Leste, 

Tapuwa Mutseyekwa
UNICEF Advocacy and Communication Specialist
Mobile number: +670 77231103; Email Address – 

Antonio Gomes
UNICEF Communications Officer
Mobile number: +670 77232441; 

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


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