A ceremony was held on May 11 at the Metinaro village in Dili, Timor-Leste, to distribute to the country's malnourished pregnant and lactating women nutrition food donated by the Chinese government through the World Food Programme (WFP).
Chinese Ambassador to Timor-Leste Xiao Jianguo, Timor-Leste's Minister of Health Odete Maria Freitas Belo, and the WFP representative in Timor-Leste Liu Dageng attended the ceremony and delivered speeches.
Xiao said the surging prices in the food market in Timor-Leste have worsened food insecurity and brought grave challenges to underprivileged groups, especially pregnant and lactating women. The Chinese government decided to provide nutrition food assistance to the underprivileged in Timor-Leste via the WFP last year. Despite challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and the blockage of the global food supply chain, the WFP has managed to secure the arrival of the first shipment of food to Timor-Leste. The WFP will distribute 550 tons of nutrition food to Timor-Leste according to the Chinese assistance plan, which is expected to benefit 140,000 pregnant and lactating women in the country. Furthermore, China has carried out a nutrition meal project at middle and primary schools in Timor-Leste through the WTP, which was well received by the faculty members and students.
He said this year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Timor-Leste, adding that China is willing to take this opportunity to further deepen cooperation with Timor-Leste in areas such as food security and healthcare to help Timor-Leste improve people's well-being.
Belo thanked China's long-term support and assistance to Timor-Leste in food security and healthcare. This food assistance project is like a much-needed rain which will effectively relieve the food shortage and malnutrition in Timor-Leste.
Under the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund (SSCAF), which was established by the Chinese government and managed by the China International Development Cooperation Agency, the project aims to relieve the grim difficulties faced by pregnant and lactating women in Timor-Leste, improve their malnutrition, reduce infection risks and adverse pregnancy consequences, and increase fertility so as to help Timor-Leste achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations.