Subject: Report on hunger in Timor-Leste

Dear readers,

I would like to clear-up all the misinformation that have been reported on the media on hunger and starvation in Timor-Leste. The only fact recorded that Timor-Leste really face hunger and starvation was between the period of 1977-1983. This was because of Indonesian Military Campaign throughout the territory and the population had no time to plant their crops. What is hapenning in Timor-Leste right now is what is known as FOOD SHORTAGE because of late rain falls. Otherwise there are crops all over the country and the first harvest of maize will be in March. Certainly the situation of FOOD SHARTAGE happens every year in Timor-Leste especially between December and February. No starvation and hunger like in Somolia, Etiopia, Sudan and elsewhere. The Timorese people know how to live and survive for thousands of years because they have their own copping mechanism. To respond to the situation of FOOD SHORTAGE the Government of RDTL through its relevant agencies such as National Disaster Managemeng Office (NDMO), Social Department, Agriculture and other non government organisations operating in Timor-Leste are monitoring the situation in teh afected areas to idenfy those that really need assistance (vulnerable families). This type of response is part of government programme as well as non-government agencies every year. So far the situation is still normal. If the situation is really bad such as hunger and starvation in Timor-Leste, in this case the government will respond immediately and declare as a situation of national disaster and will be responded through emergency programmes.

Kind Regards

Dr.Aurelio Guterres National Disaster Management Office Republica Democratica Timor-Leste Phone: 670-723 1552 or 670-332 2597 Email:

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