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Food Security Alert – Special Bulletin, Timor-Leste - October

The Food Security Alert Special Bulletin Timor-Leste is part of a planned bi-monthly series that highlights the urgent food security challenges that the nation faces as a result of the current El Nino event.

It charts the particular risks presented by El Nino in the light of Timor-Leste’s current levels of acute food insecurity and its reliance on rain fed agriculture.

It identifies a series of immediate and medium-term mitigation actions covering operational readiness to procure at scale, augmenting the national grain reserve, ensuring safe storage and prepositioning of foods, supporting farmers with agriculture and water enhancements.

The entire territory of Timor-Leste is already showing signs of drought, based on MALFF, NDMG and FAO’s Combined Drought Index.

The country faces the prospect of an extended dry season with a low rainfall forecasted to persist into early 2024, which will severely impact agriculture output at regional and national levels.

This October Food Security Bulletin outlines actions being taken to alert communities across the country including the most up to date analysis and data on at risk municipalities.

The bulletin draws comparisons between the food security levels and impacts of the last El Nino drought in 2015/16, with the situation the country faces today.

It highlights how current levels of food insecurity compounded by successive years of flooding, the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and high food prices at the national and global level, place the population at even greater risk of acute hunger than before.