Timor-Leste launches action plan and campaign against hunger
20 July 2014, Dili, Timor-Leste – FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva has participated in the launch of two important initiatives related to food security and nutrition in Timor-Leste: the National Action Plan "Eradication of Hunger and Malnutrition in Timor-Leste” and the campaign “Together Against Hunger in the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP)”.
Through the implementation of the National Action Plan the country adheres to the UN Zero Hunger Challenge launched in 2012 by Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, aiming at eradicating hunger and malnutrition by 2025.
"One of the youngest nations on the planet, and the youngest in Asia, Timor-Leste today announced that overcoming hunger and food insecurity is inseparable from the principles that will sustain its sovereignty," Graziano da Silva said.
Deputy Prime Minister, Fernando La Sama de Araujo, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Assanami Mariano Sabino, and Minister of Health, Sergio Lobo and other members of government and high officials attended the launch as well.
The United Nations Secretary-General's advisor for Timor-Leste, Noeleen Heyzer, and the Executive Secretary of the CPLP, Murade Murargy were also present at the event.
The National Council for Food Security, Sovereignty and Nutrition in Timor-Leste (KONSSANTIL), led by Vice Prime Minister Fernando Lasama de Araujo, launched the Zero Hunger Challenge National Action Plan as a side event at the Summit of the Portuguese speaking countries (CPLP).
Bilateral meeting with Timor-Leste Prime Minister
During a bilateral meeting with Timor-Leste Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmão, the Director-General also discussed a number of joint initiatives, including support for the implementation of the hunger eradication action plan and technical support for the national agricultural census. Discussions also touched upon support to the country’s coconut and coffee production and ways to strengthen fisheries and aquaculture.
Timor-Leste is interested in increasing its agricultural production, diversifying the population’s diets and achieving food security. “With political will and a civil society that supports the process, the country is fully committed to face these challenges,” Graziano da Silva said. Graziano da Silva also met with civil society organizations participating in the implementation of the plan and discussed the key role they are playing.
The plan "Eradication of Hunger and Malnutrition in Timor-Leste”
Timor Leste’s national action Plan to eradicate hunger and malnutrition highlights one of the many initiatives of the Government of Timor-Leste on food security and nutrition that have already been pursued since 2008.
“I would like to invite everyone, without exception, the national and local authorities, development partners and civil society to take concrete steps to eliminate hunger and realize the fundamental right to food. The Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP), of which Timor-Leste is a member, should further promote nutrition and food security as a priority objective ”, said Timor-Leste Vice Prime Minister.
Together Against Hunger in the CPLP
The FAO/CPLP “Together Against Hunger” is a joint initiative and was launched in Maputo, Mozambique in February 2014. It seeks to sensitize society to the process of building a Hunger Free Community of Portuguese Language Countries and to mobilize funds to finance projects under the Food and Nutrition Security CPLP (ESAN-CPLP) Strategy.
The Campaign aims to raise awareness about food insecurity that affects about 28 million people out of the total of 250 million living in the CPLP countries - Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Timor-Leste.