Protracted Relief and Recovery Operations Approved by Correspondence Between the Annual Session and the Second Regular Session 2008 - Timor-Leste 10388.1
Extend the project from September 2010 to August 2011 until the activities can be incorporated into a WFP development portfolio (country programme) in 2012
Timor-Leste recently emerged from centuries of colonial rule followed by 24 years of foreign occupation. During April/May 2006, there was a rapid deterioration in internal security and the ensuing civil unrest resulted in the displacement of 150,000 people, the disintegration of law and order and the destruction of infrastructure.
The violence led the Government to request the continued assistance of the United Nations and additional international police and military personnel. Government institutions are still very fragile, and depend on the United Nations Mission in Timor-Leste for improvement of their capacity. In February 2008, armed assaults on the President and the Prime Minister further raised the level of tension. Measures and processes put in place after these incidents followed constitutional stipulations, which was a positive sign and helped mitigate incidents of unrest.
Timor-Leste is a low-income, food-deficit1 and post-conflict country ranked 150 on the Human Development Index of the United Nations Development Programme, and is among the poorest countries in Asia, with a per capita income of US$358 per year. Security remains fragile, with chronic vulnerabilities due to conflict between communities and individuals, poverty, unsustainable livelihoods, poor health and nutrition, and recurrent natural disasters.
The majority of its 1 million people are still vulnerable to food insecurity and malnutrition and rely on a fast-depleting natural resource base for their livelihoods. According to the crop and food supply assessment mission conducted jointly by WFP and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 2007, food insecurity in Timor-Leste is widespread, affecting 64 percent of households. With the exception of the petroleum sector, the economy remains stagnant or in decline, and over 40 percent of the population live below the national poverty line of 55 United States cents per day.
The 2007 Timor-Leste Survey of Living Standards revealed that between 2003 and 2007 the prevalence of underweight among children had increased from 45.8 percent to 50.3, of stunting from 49.4 percent to 49.9 percent and of wasting from 12.4 percent to 18.8 percent.
The efficiency of primary education is low due to high rates of drop-out (25 percent) and repetition (16 percent), resulting in only 46 percent of children who enter grade 1 eventually reaching grade 6.4.
In February 2008, WFP held a consultative meeting with stakeholders comprising the Government, donors, non-governmental organizations and United Nations agencies. The need for WFP’s continued presence in Timor-Leste to address food insecurity and malnutrition was confirmed in the findings from emergency food security assessments in 2005 and 2006 and the joint Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations/WFP crop and food supply assessment mission in 2007.
The objectives of protracted relief and recovery operation Timor-Leste 10388.1, “Assistance to Vulnerable Populations”, are to improve household food security; improve the nutrition and health status of vulnerable groups; increase the enrolment and attendance of school children and reduce their short-term hunger; maintain an emergency reserve for sudden disasters; and assist in resettling displaced people through return packages.
WFP will also assist in developing the capacity of government institutions and staff in disaster preparedness and response, support the setting-up of a food-based social safety-net system and assist in establishing a facility to produce a local fortified food. Furthermore, WFP will assist the government in improving its logistics system and infrastructure at the national and district levels.
These objectives are in line with WFP Strategic Objectives 1, 2, 3 and 4;5 Millennium Development Goals 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8; and national development priorities. The activities of the operation will be assumed by the Government of Timor-Leste as soon as government capacity is adequate to implement nationwide programmes of maternal and child health and nutrition, school feeding and food for work, which are among its national policy objectives.