Flag of Timor-Leste

Project Descriptions

Language: English | Tetun

Speeches Shim

With nascent democratic and legal structures in place and with nearly one third of the population living in extreme poverty, Timor-Leste faces daunting development challenges. USAID focuses on building self-reliance by investing in Timor-Leste’s local capacity to strengthen its democratic institutions, expand inclusive economic growth and private-sector competitiveness and improve health services for all Timorese.


More than 70 percent of Timorese depend on agriculture for their livelihoods; however, many lack access to high-quality farming equipment and markets. USAID helps build an inclusive, sustainable economy by promoting community-based tourism, boosting farmer productivity, improving access to high-quality equipment and linking farmers to new markets. Thanks in part to USAID’s introduction of modern technology and farming techniques, farmers’ incomes rose by 700 percent over three years.


Despite remarkable progress, Timor-Leste’s maternal and under-5 mortality rates remain the highest in Southeast Asia. To help save lives, USAID works to expand access to high-quality health services for all Timorese – especially women and children – encouraging best health practices and quality reproductive health care. USAID efforts helped boost the percentage of women who receive postnatal care during the first seven days after delivery from 83 percent to 99 percent between 2017-2018. 


Still-fragile institutions pose major obstacles as Timor-Leste works to forge a resilient and representative democracy. To strengthen Timor-Leste’s democracy, USAID promotes good governance and helps reduce corruption. With USAID assistance, Timor-Leste held peaceful elections in 2017 and 2018 without international supervision, customs reform is underway and parliamentarians are learning best practices to effectively represent their constituents.