Handed over to the Government of Timor-Leste, the first batch of essential medical supplies and devices

An early morning ceremony at Dili International Airport Friday May 29 marked the arrival of Timor-Leste’s first shipment of emergency medicines to bolster the health system during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The medicines and medical equipment, procured with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) assistance, have been sourced from quality-assured sources in China and Europe and will support treatment of Covid-19 and other critical illnesses.


Further shipments of medicines and medical equipment are expected in the near future as part of a $5.7 million procurement deal signed between the UNDP and Government of Timor-Leste on April 1, 2020.

At the beginning of the crisis on April 1 the UNDP and the Government of Timor-Leste moved quickly to procure medicines and medical equipment for coronavirus and other critical illnesses. 

The UNDP worked closely with SAMES, the National Laboratory and Department of Pharmacy of Ministry of Health in the procurement processes to ensure the quality of medical supplies, devices and medicines. The UNDP actions are ongoing in support of the Ministry of Health’s efforts to strengthen all health facilities. 


Minister for Foreign Affairs and Corporation, Mr. Dionísio da Costa Babo Soares thanked the UNDP saying, “this support is highly appreciated … if we find ourselves with local COVID transmission, we will already have our medicine, so we are very thankful to UNDP.”

UNDP Resident Representative Tuya Altangerel reaffirmed the organisation’s commitment to supporting Timor-Leste during this unprecedented period.

“Amid the high market fluctuations affected by Covid-19 pandemic, UNDP continues to work around the clock to ensure the requests of the Government are met and shipments arrive in Dili soon,” Ms. Altangerel said.


The UNDP’s procurement support has been paralleled by local initiatives led by the UNDP’s projects across the country. In the area of health materials, youth hub Knua Juventude Fila Liman has led the way with 3D printing of face-shields for front-line health workers.

Simultaneously the UNDP Accelerator Lab has been opening economic opportunities for dozens of female employees through hand-sewn re-usable face mask production and large-scale local hand-sanitiser production.

Despite restrictions on movement and project activities, most UNDP projects have diverted resources to assist with the Covid-19 response. This includes the launch of a rapid social impact assessment across all municipalities to be conducted in coming months. 

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