Working together to improve nutrition outcomes in Timor-Leste

Our goal

"To reduce the prevalence of stunting* in children under two through collective multi-sector action."

*Stunting is low height-for-age, a sign of chronic of undernutrition reflecting the cumulative effects of long-term nutritional deprivation.

Stunting in Timor-Leste

Despite improvements, malnutrition remains widespread in Timor-Leste, in rural and urban communities and across both rich and poor households. Along with Burundi and Eritrea, Timor-Leste has the 3rd highest prevalence of stunting in the world. 1

Nationally, half of all children under five years are stunted.2

Stunted children complete 4.6 less grades in school compared to children who are not stunted.3

As adults, stunted children earn 21% less in adult wages compared to children who are not stunted.3


Stunted children are at increased risk of developing chronic diseases (e.g hypertension or diabetes) later in life.4

Preventing stunting has inter-generational human, social and economic benefits for individuals, their households and the nation.

1. Ministry of Health (2013) Timor-Leste Food and Nutrition Survey &
UNICEF-WHO-The World Bank (2015) Joint child malnutrition estimates - Levels and trends
2. Ministry of Health (2013) Timor-Leste Food and Nutrition Survey
3. Hoddinott et al (2013) The Economic Rationale for Investing in Stunting Reduction
4. Uauy R et al (2008) Nutrition, child growth, and chronic disease prevention

To have a sustained impact on stunting we need to work better together

A multi-sector approach is needed

The causes of stunting are complex and diverse and not just the responsibility of one sector. Independent of income and access to health services, stunting can be reduced through the following factors.5




keeping girls in school






access to improved SANITATION


women's empowerment

The global evidence is clear, breaking the inter-generational cycle of stunting requires collective action targeting all causes.6

5. Smith and Haddad (2014) Reducing Child Undernutrition: Past Drivers and Priorities for the Post-MDG Era
6. Ruel M T, et al (2013) Nutrition sensitive interventions and programmes: how can they help to accelerate progress in improving maternal and child nutrition.

What is Hamutuk doing?

Hamutuk is trying something new

We are taking an evidence-based approach to improve the quality and coverage of nutrition promoting interventions, and utilising innovative technology to promote social and behavioural change.

swipe to the right

Hamutuk partners

The Government of Timor-Leste



Cooperativa Café Timor

Marie Stopes


  • Government Partners
  • Manufahi - Municipal Administration
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries
  • Ministry of Education
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ministry of Public Works
  • Ministry of Social Solidarity
  • National Council for Food Security, Sovereignty and Nutrition in Timor-Leste (KONSSANTIL)
  • Non-Governmental Organisations
  • Alola Foundation
  • Cooperativa Café Timor (CCT)
  • Feto Asaun ba Sustenabilidade (FAS)
  • Health Alliance International
  • Luta ba Mudanza (LBM)
  • Luta ba Futuru (LBF)
  • Grupu Kilbur Feto Malu (GKFM)
  • Non-Governmental Organisations
  • Marie Stopes International
  • Mercy Corps
  • Ra'es Hadomi Timor Oan (RHTO)
  • TOMAK - Farming for Prosperity
  • World Fish
  • WaterAid

Where are we working?

We are getting started in Holarua, Manufahi.

Hamutuk is commencing work in Holarua. The village of Holarua is located in a mountainous area in the municipality of Manufahi. Holarua consists of 13 hamlets, half of which are not accessible from the main road. The total population is approximately 7,000 people.

Holarua was selected as the first project site because it is geographically isolated and there is a large overlap of partners implementing nutrition promoting interventions. Over the next five years, Hamutuk plans to expand to other villages in Timor-Leste.

Contact Us

For more information please contact us, or subscribe to our mailing list.


Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
back to top