Government strengthens fight against maternal malnutrition in partnership with the World Food Programme

Thu. 11 of January of 2024, 12:58h

On December 22, 2023, the Ministry of Health signed an agreement with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to purchase Specialized Nutritious Foods (SNF) to help tackle malnutrition in pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

The Ministry of Health will fund the acquisition of over 380 metric tons in 2024 by WFP with a value of $600,000, which will then be distributed by the Ministry of Health to more than 10,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women in 13 municipalities facing nutritious food gaps, thus addressing and managing acute and chronic malnutrition.

The Minister of Health Élia A.A. dos Reis Amaral has stated that, “by providing the specialized food through Community Health Centers, the Government of Timor-Leste will boost the nutrition of pregnant and breastfeeding women at a vital time in their child’s development.”

Alba Cecilia Garzon Olivares, WFP Country Representative for Timor-Leste, has called to the attention that women and girls of childbearing age face the brunt of nutritious food gaps in the country. This, coupled with the impact of COVID-19, increasing food costs, and climate shocks, places women at increased risk of malnutrition.

She stated that “WFP is delighted to partner with the Ministry of Health to help address this gap and to support a healthier future for mothers and children in Timor-Leste.”

The initiative is part of the Government's broader strategy to combat chronic malnutrition and reach the goal of zero hunger by 2030.