USAID and MOH Release Results of the USAID’s Reinforce Project

Speeches Shim

Thursday, October 22, 2020
USAID's Reinforce Project
Reinforce Project

DILI, TIMOR-LESTE — The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Timor-Leste Ministry of Health (MOH) today released the results of USAID’s Reinforce Basic Health Services project (USAID’s Reinforce). USAID’s Reinforce, December 2015-December 2020, is a partnership between the Government of Timor-Leste (GOTL) and USAID that focused to increase the health service delivery in Covalima by strengthening integrated health service delivery and promoting health seeking behaviors. Stakeholders in the GOTL include the MOH, Covalima Municipality Health Service and the National Institute of Health (INS). USAID’s Reinforce was implemented by JSI Research & Training Institute.

The United States Ambassador to Timor-Leste Kathleen Fitzpatrick, during her opening remarks said, “USAID’s Reinforce partnership with the MOH has created more accessible, safe and high-quality health services…. The United States Government’s goal in the health sector is to help create a health system that is resilient and self-reliant. A resilient and self-reliant health system is a health system that is well-governed, operating accountably, efficiently, and effectively. It is a health system that is responsive to public health needs and can adapt when necessary - be it a pandemic, natural disaster, or other crisis - without risking interruption of essential health services and avoiding backsliding of fragile gains.”

The Minister of Health Dr. Odete Maria Freitas Belo, Covalima Municipality Administrator Afonso Nogueira Nahak, USAID Mission Director James S. Wright, and USAID’s Reinforce Chief of Party Dr. Harriet Stanley, also spoke at the conference, which was attended by government representatives from the Ministry of Health, the National Institute of Health, and Covalima Municipality Health Service; civil society representatives, and representatives from international donors and partners.

With USAID’s Reinforce support the percentage of health facilities in Covalima that are ready to provide essential health services increased from 51 percent in 2016 to 69 percent in 2020. Elements of readiness are basic amenities, basic equipment, infection prevention, laboratory services, medicines, and commodities. The percentage of women giving birth in a health facility increased from 32 percent in 2016 to 40 percent in 2020 in the referral hospital and in the Community Health Centers from 8 percent in 2016 to 22 percent in 2020. . There is also a significant increase in men and women who reported that the community helps with transport in the event of a pregnancy related emergency from 32 percent in 2016 to 64 percent in 2020 among women respondents and 29 percent in 2016 to 61 percent in 2020 among men respondents. The percentage of women who think spacing of pregnancies of more than three years is ideal increased from 27 percent in 2016 to 49 percent in 2020.

During the COVID-19 pandemic USAID’s Reinforce helped Covalima authorities train 60 health workers and health facility staff, 70 community leaders, and 62 youth leaders. USAID helped the MoH reach 76 sub villages in 18 villages with health promotion and COVID-19 prevention messages, including 2,555 women and 667 men.

USAID works in partnership with the government of Timor-Leste to support broad-based and effective development.  Since 2001, USAID has provided over $350 million in development assistance to Timor-Leste.  USAID supports Timor-Leste in its efforts to build a more prosperous, healthy, and democratic country through programs that foster inclusive and sustainable economic growth, especially in the agriculture and tourism  sectors; improve the health of the Timorese people, particularly women and children; and strengthen the foundations of good governance—all areas which are highlighted in Timor-Leste’s Strategic Development Plan 2011-2030.  To learn more, visit: