Nobre Presidential Palace, June 7, 2024
President Ramos-Horta delivered remarks at the farewell event for the outgoing UNICEF representative.
At a farewell event organized by UNICEF, President J. Ramos-Horta expressed appreciation to the outgoing UNICEF Timor-Leste National Representative Bilal Durrani for his efforts and support for children in this nation.


“The President recounted UNICEF’s important role, especially during crises such as after the 1999 violence when UNICEF provided an emergency education program with school materials, tents and food to bring children back to learning,” said the presidential statement.


Ramos-Horta highlighted how all Timorese children receive vaccinations against dangerous diseases, which are provided by UNICEF.


Bilal Durrani served as the UNICEF Timor-Leste National Representative for several years.
The President commended Durrani’s leadership in responding to the severe 2021 floods and the COVID-19 pandemic. Under his leadership, UNICEF supplied:

  • 44 million liters of clean water
  • Temporary sanitation facilities
  • Child-friendly spaces after the floods

For COVID-19, UNICEF assisted in vaccinating over 90% of the eligible population in Timor-Leste.
“While appreciating UNICEF’s successes, the President again called for actions on early childhood development and child malnutrition,” the statement said.


Ramos-Horta appealed for an additional $7 million for the National Health Sector Nutrition Strategic Plan to address these critical issues impacting the nation’s children.

Media PR//