DILI, 21 september 2023 (TATOLI) – President of the Republic, José Ramos Horta, on tuesday, participated in Citigroup’s Global Innovation Challenge on Food Security, delivering a keynote speech on the theme: “Investing in Food Security: Innovative solutions to address the hunger crisis”.
The event was held at Citigroup’s headquarters in New York, where he emphasized the importance of global efforts to fight hunger and feed the planet in a sustainable way.
In his speech, President Horta underscores his commitment to addressing the global hunger crisis through investing in food security and innovative solutions.
The Global Innovation Challenge on Food Security is an initiative by Citigroup that brings together thought leaders, policymakers, and industry experts to brainstorm and develop innovative solutions to combat food insecurity worldwide.
This event took place alongside the official program of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, held at UN Headquarters in New York.
The participation of President Horta in such a significant event demonstrates his dedication to global issues and his leadership in advocating for sustainable solutions to global hunger.
At the national level, President Horta has always urged the government to invest in productive sectors in order to address the problem of hunger and malnutrition in Timor-Leste.
Timor-Leste ranks 110 out of 121 countries on the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2022, scoring 30.6 based on rates of undernourishment, wasting, stunting, and child mortality.
GHI places Timor-Leste as the 12th hungriest country in the world, after Yemen, the Central African Republic, Madagascar, Congo, Chad, Liberia, Haiti, Niger, Lesotho, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau.
The ranking places Timor-Leste as the top hungry country in the Southeast Asia region behind Laos, Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei, and Singapore.
With a score of 30.6, the level of hunger in Timor-Leste has been labeled “serious.”
One of the drivers of hunger in Timor-Leste is food insecurity, as many households cannot afford to buy nutritious food.
United Nations Common Country Analysis (UNCCA) reported that food insecurity remains one of the most pressing issues Timor-Leste is facing, affecting not only nutrition but also economic growth and social cohesion.
According to the Timor-Leste Food and Nutrition Survey 2020, the country has one of the highest prevalences of childhood stunting in the world. According to the report, 47% of Timorese children 0-59 months were stunted, 8.6% were wasted, and 32.4% were underweight.
According to the GHI report, hunger in Timor-Leste has been labeled “serious,” and President Horta urged the government to take this as a lesson to work in every possible way to combat hunger and malnutrition in the country.
Journalist: Filomeno Martins
Editor: Nelia Borges