UNHCR steps up food deliveries to refugee camps in West Timor after survey finds child malnutrition

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is stepping up efforts to improve food delivery to refugees in West Timor, after a nutritional survey of the camps there showed that almost a quarter of the children under the age of five are malnourished, a UN spokesman said today.
The survey of 850 children in the Belu district was carried out in late December by UNICEF - the UN Children's Fund - with support from staff of the US-based Center for Disease Control.

UNHCR is now working with the authorities in West Timor to increase rations and improve refugees' access to water and health care, the spokesman said.

Meanwhile, about 300 East Timorese protested in front of the UN headquarters in Dili, demanding lower prices for food and construction materials and more work and higher wages for local workers.

A UN official met the protesters to respond to their petition and later told the press that the UN welcomed the demonstrators' expression of concern and their recommendations.