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Timor-Leste, Welcome to the SUN Movement!

  |   SUN Country Network

On 21 September 2020, UN Assistant Secretary-General and SUN Movement Coordinator, Gerda Verburg, received the official letter signed by the Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, His Excellency Taur Matan Ruak, expressing the country’s interest in forming part of the SUN Movement. The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste has made significant progress in the delivery of health and nutrition services, resulting in the reduction of under-five and maternal mortality rates. Timor-Leste, the 62nd country country to join the SUN Movement, brings with it a wealth of experience in the struggle against all forms of malnutrition.

The SUN Movement is glad to welcome the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste as its newest member and 62nd SUN member State. In her welcoming letter, SUN Movement Coordinator, Gerda Verburg congratulates Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak for the work done in his country: “I am pleased to read about your government’s leadership and commitment to end malnutrition in all its forms. The multi-sector approach outlined in your letter is commendable and reflects very well the inclusive way that the SUN Movement operates”.

As per national statistics, the prevalence of stunting in Timor-Leste among children aged 0-59 months was lower in 2016 (46%) than in 2003 (49%), 2009/10 (58%) and 2013 (50%). The prevalence of malnutrition remains high compared to WHO cut-off points, indicating that the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste still needs to work on towards improvement of nutrition. His Excellency Prime Mister Taur on a message to announce Timor-Leste’s joining the SUN Movement: “We believe that, with the SUN Movement support in Timor-Leste, we will have the possibility to give to children a better life starts, contribution to reduce the sub-nutrition and infant mortality rates, securing the development of a healthy and active society, with well growth children, prosper families and strong populations”.

Timor’s Nutrition Department on the Ministry of Health is implementing a flagship package, namely Specific Intervention Nutrition Package. This package scale-up to all health facilities in convergence with other programmes within the Ministry of Health as well as other sectors like agriculture, social protection for cash transfer and Education in efforts to address all forms of malnutrition. In Timor-Leste the implementation of nutrition and food security interventions is guided by the Strategic Development Plan 2011-2030, national food and security policy, the Health Sector Strategic Plan (2008-2012), National Nutrition Strategy (2014-2019), and the National Zero Hunger Action Plan, 2014.


Timor-Leste has assumed the commitment to increase the living conditions of its populations, especially in the well-being areas of education, health and food, as well as in the access of basic services and infrastructures, therefore contributing to the development and economic stability of the country. This commitment encourages our strategic goal to fight against poverty and child or family sub-nutrition, which justifies our adhesion to the SUN Movement.

Prime Minister, Timor-Leste, Prime-Minister Taur Matan Ruak

“The whole of the SUN Movement stands beside you to support the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste’s ambitions and priorities for improving nutrition for all”, highlighted SUN Coordinator on her welcoming message. Ms. Verburg also added: “We recognsze the challenges that are being faced and the difficulties in making sustained improvements, especially in terms of wasting and stunting. The importance of improving the welfare and health of children at a young age cannot be overstated. Improving nutrition cannot wait”.

The SUN Movement stands ready to provide continual support to the SUN Focal Points of all SUN Countries and to the establishment of a multi-sectoral platform and key nutrition actors. It is our hope that nutrition services – integrated across all relevant sectors – will be considered essential and an important step in paving the way to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. The whole of the SUN Movement stands beside you to support the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste’s ambitions and priorities for improving nutrition for all in Timor-Leste.



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