DILI – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) thanked the Government of Japan on Thursday for its generous donation of Japanese Yen 220,000,000 (US$ 2.4 million) to support mother and child nutrition programmes in Timor-Leste.
The donation will be used to support the Ministry of Health’s supplementary feeding programme, which is implemented with the help of WFP. The programme supports 64,000 malnourished children and malnourished pregnant and lactating women.
“This is a very timely donation as this vital assistance programme helps the poorest and malnourished,” said Joan Fleuren, WFP Representative to Timor-Leste. “The donation will not only help children and mothers, but also farmers and food traders as we intend to buy food on the local market."
During a ceremony at the Ministry of Health earlier today Mr Hiroshi Enomoto, Chief Representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Timor-Leste, and Mr Joan Fleuren, Representative of WFP Timor-Leste, signed the agreement. The ceremony was attended by Mr. Agapito Soares Da Silva, Director General of Ministry of Health, and H.E. Mr Iwao Kitahara, Japanese Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Timor-Leste.
“Until last year we gave food from overseas. This year, our assistance will go to purchase locally produced nutritious food. This is good for the local economy as well as the Mother and Child Health programme.” said H.E. Mr. Kitahara, Ambassador of Japan to Timor-Leste.
“We are pleased to assist the Ministry of Health and WFP in reaching malnourished children and mothers with this donation” added Mr Enomoto, Chief Representative of JICA Timor-Leste.
The Government of Japan has been one of the top donors to WFP-supported programmes in Timor-Leste, giving approximately 810 million Japanese Yen (US$8.6 million) since 2005.
This year WFP will distribute “Timor-Vita”, a locally made, grown and purchased blended food that is fortified with vitamins and minerals for malnourished people. Timor-Vita will be produced using equipment purchased by the Ministry of Health and the Japanese donation will enable WFP to buy the food from the factory. Malnourished women and children who visit health centres will receive a take-home ration of Timor-Vita every month.
“We appreciate this donation from the Government and people of Japan and WFP's continuing assistance to improve the nutrition of children and mothers,” said Mr. Agapito Soares Da Silva, Director General of Ministry of Health.
For further information:
Anusara Singhkumarwong, Project Officer for Nutrition, WFP Timor-Leste, Mob. +670 723 1316