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UNFPA and PNTL partnership to strengthen HIV prevention, family planning and end GBV in Timor-Leste

DILI, October 27, 2021 –  UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, today at Timor Plaza in Dili, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) to formalize a 9-year partnership to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), promote family planning, and end gender based violence (GBV).

The agreement will strengthen interventions in HIV and STIs prevention, family planning and sexual and reproductive health and access to quality health services, and family planning among Uniformed Personnel (UP).

“I am very happy for our two institutions coming together to formally strengthen our almost decade long partnership. Today marks a renewal of UNFPA’s commitment to work side by side with PNTL. The signing of the MoU and the Implementing Partner Agreement will allow for a closer and more sustainable working relationship, and also for PNTL to more autonomously and directly lead programme implementation,” said Mr. Ronny Lindstrom, UNFPA Timor-Leste Country Representative.

“PNTL is one of the longest standing partners of UNFPA in Timor-Leste, comprising almost all areas of our mandate, from gender, to family planning and in HIV and STI prevention.”

There is a higher prevalence of HIV and STIs among the police when compared to the general population. The Integrated Biological and Behavioral Surveillance (IBSS) study conducted in 2011 showed an HIV prevalence among UP of 0.5%. In some municipalities, like Bobonaro, HIV prevalence was found to be 2.6% -- much higher than the national average.

“On behalf of PNTL, I would like to thank UNFPA for their continued support in prevention of HIV among our members. Some of our members have passed away after contracting HIV. Our members who are working in border municipalities are the most vulnerable. We thank UNFPA for providing technical and financial support required in implementation of activities,” said Mr. Faustino da Costa, General Commander of PNTL.

“UNFPA, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, has also trained PNTL staff working at the Health Unit and supported setting-up of a clinic. We need sensitization to create awareness and knowledge on HIV and other sexually transmitted transmissions,” Mr. Faustino added.

Since 2012, UNFPA and PNTL have been working together in behavior change interventions to disseminate evidence-based information to PNTL members on prevention and transmission of HIV and other STIs, and to reduce risky behaviors that could put them and their partners at a higher risk.

 

For more information, contact:

 

Suleiman Okoth

Communications and Programme Support Specialist

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Timor-Leste

Mobile: +67075169796

WhatsApp: +254 780534026

Email; okoth@unfpa.org

 

Arnaldo de Araujo

Chief of Public Relations

National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL)

Mobile: +67077280325