MoH and EU discuss nutrition policy to tackle Malnutrition in TL

MoH and EU discuss nutrition policy to tackle Malnutrition in TL

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DILI, 24 october 2023 (TATOLI) – The European Union (EU), on tueday (23/10) participated in the policy dialogue meeting on nutrition, organized by the Ministry of Health (MoH) in collaboration with Timor-Leste and EU Cooperation Service (TECS) and UNICEF.

The meeting was organized to promote the discussion of nutrition sector policies and reforms for sustainable development.

The Policy Dialogue provided the opportunity for an open discussion on the status, direction, and challenges of Nutrition and PFM reforms, on effective coordination among different parties, and on progress regarding the implementation of support provided by the EU and other donors, and its alignment to Government strategy and policy.

The Vice Minister of Health, José dos Reis Magno, and the EU Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Marc Fiedrich lead the discussion with the participation of development partners and Nutrition stakeholders.

We need to have a good nutrition policy to fight malnutrition in Timor-Leste. Therefore, working with development partners like the EU and others is crucial to strengthening our joint efforts to combat malnutrition in the country. ,” Deputy Health Minister, José dos Reis Magno, told reporters after the meeting at the office of the Ministry of Health, in Dili, yesterday.

At the same place, Ambassador Fiedrich said that the EU has made available €10 million over several years for combating malnutrition, adding EU also made available technical assistance together with UNICEF, and WFP, to address malnutrition in the country: “We are now looking to start our new program of support which will be much broader than the support that we have provided so far. We will be looking at some of the issues, including food insecurity, Bolsa da Mãe, and so on.”

Fiedrich urged the Timorese people to change their eating habits to consume more locally grown foods, such as sweet potato and pumpkin, which have a much higher nutritional value that may contribute to improving nutrition in the country: “Addressing malnutrition is not just something that can be done through government investment, but society as a whole need to take action.”

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.

Based on the 2023 Global Hunger Index (GHI) report, Timor-Leste ranks 112 out of 125 countries, scoring 29.9 based on rates of undernourishment, wasting, stunting, and child mortality. With a score of 29.9, the level of hunger in Timor-Leste has been labeled “serious.”


Journalist: José Belarmino De Sá

Editor: Filomeno Martins


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