Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Minister of Foreign Affairs receive the official credentials from the new head of UNFAP in Timor-Leste

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Zacarias Albano da Costa and
the new Head of UNFAP Mr.Pornchai Suchitta

Today 10 of November H.E. the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Zacarias Albano da Costa receive the official credentials from Mr. Mr.Pornchai Suchitta the new head of UNFAP in Timor-Leste .

I’m looking forward to working with Mr. Pornchai Suchitta in the same successful way as I worked with his predecessor .I’m very please with the work UNFAP is doing in Timor-Leste, and I will give the organization the support it needs to develop their work further” said Minister Zacarias Albano da Costa.

In a meeting after the ceremony Mr.Pornchai Suchitta brieffed the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Zacarias Albano da Costa about the work and proposed directions of the main activities UNFAP is involved in Timor-Leste including: Reproductive Health, Population and Development strategies, Gender.

During the meeting after the official cerimony

Following is UNFAP’s program in Timor_Leste

UNFPA in Timor-Leste ( United Nations Population Fund )



The Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste recognizes the importance of reducing the country's high population growth rate and spacing births as a way to reach its goals of eradicating poverty and reducing the country's high levels of maternal, infant and child mortality. With the high fertility rate of the nation and a contraceptive prevalence rate of 19.8% for all methods, these has been identified to hamper the country's progress towards the achievement of its NDP objectives and MDGs and so it is for this reason that making quality family planning information and services available and accessible to all is important.

The UNFPA believes in this and thus support the Ministry of Health programme in improving the knowledge and skills of health workers through training, strengthening the country's commodity supply system to ensure that FP commodities and supplies are always available and accessible to all and it’s effort to provide culturally sensitive Family Planning/ birth spacing information using UNFPA supported IEC, media materials through the National BCC strategy in order to create an enabling environment to all couples, women, men and young people specially in the most remote areas.


UNFPA TL supports the national safe motherhood programme in it’s effort to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality and improve the overall maternal health of the country. 2 major factors that contribute to the high maternal deaths in Timor are the low use of skilled birth attendants in delivery and lack of access to EMOC. According to the MOH Annual Health Statistics 2008, only 35.6% deliveries are delivered by health personnel.

The Ministry of Health recognizes increasing utilization of skilled birth attendants and timely access to emergency obstetric care (EmOC) are critical and significant interventions to the reduction of the MMR of the nation. To enable EmOC services to be available at the national, referral hospitals and Community Health Centers, UNFPA has supported four OB-GYN specialists to provide comprehensive emergency obstetric care at the hospitals.

Two Timorese general practitioners are receiving UNFPA fully-funded university scholarships for specialist training in obstetrics and gynecology to strengthen national capacity and eventually establish the foundation of Comprehensive EmOC upon their return to Timor Leste. Currently, an EMOC trainer continuously provide training to midwives at the CHC level to ensure that these health workers will be accessible and available to offer Basic EMOC services at the Primary Health Centres and that more women with obstetric complications in remote areas will be reached and immediate obstetric intervention and referral be done.


Timor Leste is relatively a young population. Because of this, young people are vulnerable to unplanned pregnancies, STI's/HIV/AIDS, exploitation and violence. Awareness of their sexuality and their reproductive health rights, together with the challenge of entering into relationships should they choose to, will require sensitive public health responses to allow these young individuals to enter society as mature responsible adults. UNFPA is collaborating with the Ministry of Education to support the development of Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health module to be incorporated in the secondary school curriculum.


Timor-Leste is a low prevalence country with less than 0.2% of the adult population estimated to be HIV-positive, the number of cases increases especially in the country-border areas. UNFPA continues to work with the Ministry of Health and other key partners by providing technical assistance on HIV prevention and support for the provision of condoms. Logistics management of condom supplies is done as well as and conducting campaigns to promote condom use. UNFPA is working closely with NGOs in implementing programmes with most at-risk groups (MSM and FSW) in TL such as the HIV/AIDS programme in Becora prison.


UNFPA's Population and Development Strategies programme supports the work of its government counterpart, the National Statistics Directorate (NSD), through the provision of technical and financial assistance. The programme aims to develop the Government's capacity to address Timor-Leste's need for up-to-date and reliable population and socio-economic data. This has been achieved through the successful completion of Timor-Leste's first Population and Housing Census as an independent nation in 2004. The Census results have since been analyzed, published online, and disseminated countrywide through workshops held at the district level. The NSD is now working to prepare for Timor-Leste's second Population and Housing Census to be carried out in 2010 - a priority for the Government of Timor-Leste. The Population and Development Strategies programme is also contributing to the implementation of the Timor-Leste's Demographic and Health Survey 2009.


In Timor-Leste, gender-based violence is now recognized as a serious ongoing problem. The high prevalence of gender-based violence in Timor-Leste inhibits the ability of Timorese women to participate fully in the life of their nation.

UNFPA has been supporting the Office of Secretary of State for the Promotion of Equality (SEPI) and under the Prime Minister's office to 'Strengthen National Capacity to address Gender-Based Violence (GBV). UNFPA has supported the Government to carry out several activities aimed at preventing gender-based violence, such as coordinating the annual 16 Days Campaign, training the national police on nature of gender-based violence, producing television programmes and most importantly, by developing a Law against Domestic Violence, which was adopted by the Council of Ministers on 19 August 2009. This Law has recently been submitted to the National Parliament for debate.

UNFPA is providing ongoing support to civil society organizations in their provision of support services (medical, legal and psycho-social) to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. It also supports the Secretariat of State for the Promotion of Equality and the Ministry of Social Solidarity in chairing a Referral Network Service Providers Working Group, whose tasks include addressing individual service providers' concerns.