How we are helping
2015-16 Total Australian ODA Estimated Outcome
2016-17 Bilateral Budget Estimate
2016-17 Total Australian ODA Estimate
The Australian Government will provide an estimated $93.7 million in total ODA to Timor-Leste in 2016-17. This will include an estimated $68 million in bilateral funding to Timor-Leste managed by DFAT.
Australia has a strong interest in a prosperous and stable Timor-Leste. Australia and Timor-Leste are close neighbours, with a shared history and strong people-to-people links. Since Timor-Leste's independence in 2002, Australia has been its largest development partner. The Australia–Timor-Leste Strategic Planning Agreement for Development articulates our shared commitment to achieving Timor-Leste's development goals.
As a post-conflict state, Timor-Leste has made considerable progress in the past fourteen years. Timor-Leste has recently enjoyed a fast-growing economy and its longest period of stability since independence. Human development indicators continue to improve – but challenges remain. Revenues are narrowly based on oil and gas and the rate of population growth is high.
Four in ten Timorese live below the national poverty line. The country's mainly subsistence-based agriculture sector has low productivity and there is limited access to markets. The private sector faces difficulties including accessing finance, a low-skilled workforce and poor infrastructure. The maternal mortality rate is one of the highest in the region. While school enrolment has improved, learning outcomes remain poor. Women face significant barriers in accessing education and employment and there are high rates of gender-based violence. Nutrition remains a major concern with high rates of stunting in children under five years (50 per cent).
Australia is committed to being an effective, responsive and long-term partner in Timor-Leste's development. By supporting Timor-Leste's efforts to improve livelihoods, enhance human development, and strengthen governance and institutions, we will contribute to our shared goal of a prosperous and secure nation, enabling the people of Timor-Leste to overcome poverty. Across all programs, we focus on improving nutrition, empowering women and girls and supporting disability-inclusive development.
Our program has three strategic objectives as outlined in the Aid Investment Plan.
Objective 1: Improving livelihoods
Economic development in Timor-Leste is impeded by a lack of income-generating opportunities and a weak environment for private sector development. Australia will support Timor-Leste's efforts to diversify its economy by improving market linkages and rural infrastructure. We will support skills development initiatives and private sector development by improving the business enabling environment and forming partnerships with businesses.
Investments for improving livelihoods
Objective 2: Enhancing human development
Investing in human development is critical to improving opportunities and developing the economy. Australia will support Timor-Leste to build a healthier, more productive workforce by improving access to quality basic education, maternal and child health services and clean water and sanitation. We will focus on enhanced services for women and children affected by violence and improved nutrition through innovative cross-sectoral and collaborative approaches. We will continue to support communities to construct and manage basic infrastructure in villages across the country.
Investments for enhancing human development
Objective 3: Strengthening governance and institutions
Effective governance and strong institutions underpin a more diverse and inclusive economy, enhancing human development and maintaining social stability. Australia will support Timor-Leste's efforts to develop effective institutions to promote sustainable economic development and better delivery of services to communities. The Australian Federal Police will continue to assist Timor-Leste to build a legitimate, effective and accountable police force.
Investments for strengthening governance and institutions
- We completed our 15-year investment in the Seeds of Life program with half of all rural households across the country now using more productive seed and plant varieties.