NATIONAL, DILI, HEALTH

CHINA and WFP working together to provide nutrition support to women in Timor-Leste

CHINA and WFP working together to provide nutrition support to women in Timor-Leste

(Imagem/WFP-Timor-Leste)

DILI 28 october 2021 ( TATOLI)The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a recent contribution from the Government of China for emergency food assistance to malnourished pregnant and lactating women in Timor-Leste.

The contribution will be used to provide 548 metric tons of nutritious food for more than 12,000 pregnant and lactating women (PLWs) each month for 12 months. The funding will enable a supplementary feeding program to prevent widespread malnutrition, which aims to reduce excess mortality among those at-risk by providing a food and micronutrient supplement to malnourished PLWs.

“The contribution agreement between the Government of the Peoples Republic of China and WFP on the provision of food assistance in the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste comes at the right moment to provide the critical support to our people. On behalf of our pregnant and lactating woman of Timor-Leste, I extend sincere appreciation towards your generous support and commitment,” Minister of Health, Odete Maria Freitas Belo told reporters at the launching ceremony of the Contribution Agreement in the Ministry of MoH ‘ office, Cai- Coli, Dili today.

She added that in Timor-Leste, food security and malnutrition remain as an ongoing challenge, with over one-third of the population chronically food insecure. Among children under 5 years of age, 47% are stunted, 8.6% are wasted, and 32% are underweight. Among women of reproductive age, 30% suffer from anemia, as of 2019.

The impact of COVID-19 and the April floods have further exacerbated food security and the nutrition gap in Timor-Leste, impacting livelihoods, supply chains, and market functionality. For instance, 38% of the households had to reduce the quality of their diet due to a lack of money or resources, while 21% in the lowest wealth quantiles had to skip a meal, according to the socio-economic impact assessment conducted by the Government of Timor-Leste.

At the same place, WFP Country Representative Dageng Liu said WFP is grateful for the generous contribution from China. The food assistance, together with the community health and nutrition services, will help break the inter-generational cycle of malnutrition.

Likewise the Ambassador Republic of China in Timor-Leste, Xiao Jianguo said China is always willing to strengthen its coordination and partnership with the UN and help Timor-Leste to implement its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development including zero hunger and food systems transformation,” He said.

” is delighted to launch this program with UNWFP and Ministry of Health,”

The funding from the Government of China, through the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund (SSCAF), will enable the WFP to procure super cereals corn, soy blended food fortified with vitamins and minerals.

They will be further distributed by the Ministry of Health and the Central Drugs and Medical Equipment Service (SAMES) to 13 municipalities.

 

Journalist : Camilio de Sousa

Editor: Nelia B

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