WFP has been present in Timor-Leste since 1999 with brief interruptions in 2001-2002 and 2004. The country office was re-established in 2004, under the recognition for a need for medium-to-longer term recovery programmes. Current WFP activities focus on improving the nutritional status of children under five and women, increasing school enrolment, attendance and retention, and improving food security for the poorest. A Country Programme, which will commence from in September 2011, will focus on nutrition support and capacity development for Government of Timor-Leste, including the planned handover of the programme to the Government by 2013.
WFP activities under current PRRO
Mother-and-Child Health and Nutrition (MCHN)
MCHN focuses on preventing malnutrition of children under two and improving the nutritional status of malnourished children between the ages of two and five, as well as malnourished pregnant and breast-feeding women. WFP provides blanket feeding to all children aged 6–23 months, and targeted feeding to moderately malnourished children aged 24–59 months and to malnourished mothers. The programme is being implemented in 12 out of 13 districts of Timor-Leste and reaches more than 50,000 people. Each person enrolled receives a monthly take-home ration of corn-soya blend (CSB), sugar, oil and iodized salt.
School Meals Programme
The school meals activity covers grades 1 to 9, reaching more than 270,000 children in more than 1,000 primary and pre-secondary schools nationwide. The school meal provides 426 kcal per child, from rice, beans, oil and salt prepared and served at the school. WFP’s monitoring and 2009 Mid-Term Evaluation showed a strong correlation between attendance and food availability in schools. The programme supports the Government’s Basic Education Act, espousing free education for all children, including a free school meal. WFP is phasing out the food provision for school feeding in August 2011 as the current operation comes to end. However, WFP will continue to assist the Government with capacity development for its national school feeding programme, including the improvement of school cooking facilities such as kitchen improvement and the construction and installation of energy-efficient stoves.
Food for Assets (FFA)
FFA activities contribute to increased agricultural potential and food security by employing food-insecure people from poor communities during the agricultural lean season. Under the current operation, more than 7,000 men and women from the most food-insecure districts have participated in FFA activities to date, focusing on enhancing agricultural production in rural areas through land clearance and reclamation, the rehabilitation of small-scale irrigation canals, construction or rehabilitation of feeder roads, improvement of community water ponds, and construction of schools using locally available material.
Conditional Cash Transfer
Timor-Leste is one of five countries where a WFP-assisted conditional cash-transfer pilot project is being introduced and tested under a trust fund. The project will reach 5,000 vulnerable rural households exposed to natural disasters and food insecurity. The project will contribute to community asset-building and disaster mitigation. All households in selected communities will participate and receive US$3 per day worked, in line with government programmes and policies.
WFP Special Operation
A WFP Special Operation which commenced in 2009, aims at building ministries’ capacity in overall supply chain and delivery management, to improve service delivery and increase coverage. WFP is the lead assistant to the Government’s national priority programme for food security by providing technical assistance in food security monitoring systems. Through the implementation of the operation, the capacity to deliver social and economic services in general will be improved through increased inter-ministerial coordination.