WFP will provide food aid to 100,000 people in Timor Leste over the next six months at a cost of US$5.2 million to help avert a humanitarian crisis caused by political unrest and violence.
The food assistance will support and complement the Government’s efforts to provide food to displaced people in camps.
Critical humanitarian need
“Food assistance is a critical humanitarian need at present,” said Tarek Elguindi, WFP Representative in Timor Leste.
“The Government recognises this and we are doing our best to support them. Not only will food help save lives in the short term, it will also provide families with a safety net while they start to rebuild their lives.”
Not only will food help save lives in the short term, it will also provide families with a safety net while they start to rebuild their lives
Tarek Elguindi, WFP Representative in Timor Leste
WFP expects to reach 66,000 displaced people in camps in and around the capital, Dili, with emergency food rations by 10 June.
This figure is expected to increase to 100,000 in the coming weeks, as WFP reaches more than 35,000 people who have fled to other districts.
This week, WFP succeeded in reaching two locations to the west of Dili – Dibar and Liquica – with a total population of 6,000.
Since the latest round of violence began on 23 May, thousands of people have left their homes for camps and other perceived safe areas, including the compound of the main UN offices in Dili where 4,500 are presently camped.
WFP will join other UN agencies in issuing a flash appeal for funding to meet the immediate needs for food, water, sanitation, shelter and health for people affected by the recent civil unrest.
“We are concerned that many Dili residents who have left their homes still do not feel safe enough to return to them,” said Anthony Banbury, WFP Asia Regional Director.
“WFP is committed to providing food to these families to meet their immediate needs and to help them return to their normal lives.”
WFP began regular food deliveries in camps in and around Dili on Monday, and two-week rations were delivered to camps on Tuesday.
The high energy, high calorie emergency rations consist of corn soya blend, vegetable oil and sugar.
Food deliveries have been made in cooperation with the Government and WFP partners including the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Care International, World Vision, Plan International, HOPE and churches.
The WFP rations are combined with deliveries of government-supplied rice.