Government discusses Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Plan to combat stunting in TL

Government discusses Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Plan to combat stunting in TL

Image Tatoli/Egas Cristovão

DILI, 09 july 2024 (TATOLI) – The Government held a discussion on the Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Plan 2024-2030 to combat stunting in Timor-Leste.

The discussion took place, today at the Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão hall at the Ministry of Finance, in Dili.

Speaking at the event, the Executive Director of the Unit of Mission to Combat Stunting (UNMICS), Joel Pereira, said the discussion aims to create strategies to promote healthy eating habits and strengthen monitoring and evaluation systems.

“The discussion also aims to define strategic objectives for the fight against chronic malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies in children under five and pregnant women,” he said.

Pereira stressed that UNMICS will cooperate with the Ministry of Health, civil society, development partners, and other relevant ministries to reduce stunting by 22% (from 47% to 25%) by 2030.

Vice-Prime Minister and Minister Coordinator for Rural Development and Community Housing, Mariano Assanami Sabino, said that reducing stunting in the country is “a tough and complex task, but with the efforts of all entities, the country will succeed”.

Present at the event were Vice-Prime Minister and Minister Coordinator for Economic Affairs and Minister of Tourism and Environment, Francisco Kalbuadi Lay, the Minister for Justice, Sergio Hornai, the Minister for Trade and Industry, Filipus Pereira, the Minister of Planning and Strategic Investment, Gastão Sousa, the Minister of Social Solidarity and Inclusion, Verónica das Dores, the Minister of Health, Élia Amaral, as well as the Secretary of State for Social Communication, Expedito Ximenes, and the Secretary of State for Equality, Elvina Carvalho.

According to WHO, stunting is the impaired growth and development that children experience from poor nutrition, repeated infection, and inadequate psychosocial stimulation. Children are defined as stunted if their height-for-age is more than two standard deviations below the WHO Child Growth Standards median.

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, according to UNICEF.



Journalist: Camilio de Sousa
Editor: Filomeno Martins 


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