The HATUTAN program (Hahán ne’ebé Atu fó Tulun ho Nutrisaun no Edukasaun – Food for the Improvement of Nutrition and Education) was officially launched by the Minister of Education, Youth and Sport, Dulce de Jesus Soares, the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Joaquim José Gusmão dos Reis Martins and the Vice Minister for Primary Health Care, Élia António de Araújo dos Reis Amaral, accompanied by the United States Ambassador Kathleen Fitzpatrick. The ceremony took place in the Suai meeting room of Timor Plaza in Dili.
The HATUTAN program aims to improve education, nutrition and health in 440 schools and communities surrounding the municipalities of Ermera, Liquiçá, Ainaro and Manatuto by supporting farmers in boosting the production of local produce to increase yields and helping create sustainable sources of nutritious food for local schools. The program will also support farmers in purchasing essential agricultural equipment and provide training.
The HATUTAN program is a five-year, USD$ 26 million project funded by the US Department of Agriculture through the McGovern-Dole International Food and Early Childhood Program and will be implemented by the Non-Government Organization (NGO) Care International in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries as well as the NGOs Mercy Corps and Water Aid.
The Minister for Education, Youth and Sport noted that “HATUTAN will support the government’s school lunch, literacy and primary education programs”.
Dulce de Jesus Soares also underlined the importance of this program in working with parents and teachers to promote quality education, as well as supporting farmers to increase their income and learn how to prepare healthy and nutritious food for their children.
Representatives of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, the head of the Municipality of Ermera, leaders of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, the Deputy Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (CAC) and development partners also attended the launching ceremony.