East Timor

Speeches Shim



USAID/OTI launched its East Timor program in November 1999 in the aftermath of of violent conflict following the Aug. 30, 1999, vote by East Timorese for independence from Indonesia. The conflict destroyed much of East Timor’s infrastructure and uprooted more than 60 percent of indigenous East Timorese.


USAID/OTI sought to secure a political, social and economic environment conducive to a democratic transition in East Timor by:

  • Supporting the core objectives of economic recovery and a democratic evolution in the country;
  • Strengthening East Timorese political institutions as a government was being crafted and a nation defined;
  • Encouraging citizen participation in their governance and bolstering civil society; and
  • Solidifying the rule of law and the justice sector.


  • Media development: USAID/OTI's media programs were aimed at increasing the flow of information to communities in East Timor to contribute to transparency and participation in the nation building process, as well as to address communal anxieties caused by lack of information.
  • Rule of law: USAID/OTI supported efforts to build institutions critical to fostering justice and human rights, as well as furthering citizen understanding of and ability to access the judicial system.
  • Civilian-military relations: USAID/OTI's programs also focused on the democratic development of the security sector through confidence-building, education and capacity-developing activities for civilians within society and within newly elected governing bodies.
  • Economic recovery: USAID/OTI grants supported local economic organizations, financial intermediaries, business associations, socially conscious enterprises and informal groups along with government and advocacy groups. In addition to East Timorese organizations and groups, USAID/OTI supported international organizations with an established presence and core funding from other sources to promote economic recovery.
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