Dili, August 12, 2014 – Today, the World Bank Group in Timor-Leste, as administrator of funds provided by the Government of Japan, and the Catholic Relief Services-United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (CRS), signed a USD 2.85 million Grant for a community driven nutrition project. The signing ceremony was conducted at World Bank Group offices in Timor-Leste and was attended by government officials from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, as well as representatives from the Government of Japan.
The “Community Driven Nutrition Improvement Project” is a four year pilot program that will improve nutrition practices for children under the age of two and pregnant and lactating women. The pilot districts are Baucau and Viqueque which have higher rates of sucos and the lowest living standards.
“Since Timor-Leste gained its independence, it has achieved significant progress in re-establishing health infrastructures and delivering basic health services such as immunizations for children which has resulted in improving child health. Nevertheless, progress toward achieving the health MDGs on maternal and child nutritional outcomes are still lagging” said Ms. Bolormaa Amgaabazar, the World Bank Country Representative for Timor-Leste. “We hope, through this project, we can demonstrate how best to combine nutrition-sensitive with nutrition-specific interventions to contribute toward decreasing malnutrition in Timor-Leste.”
The project will directly benefit an estimated 4,470 children under the age of two and 5,503 pregnant and lactating women. In addition, it is estimated that around 70,000 indirect beneficiaries will benefit through increased knowledge and behavioral changes within their community. The project will also directly benefit around 1,000 service providers such as health promotional workers, agriculture extension workers and community nutrition coordinators through increased skills and knowledge for improving nutrition outcomes.