The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) plays the lead role in providing bilateral assistance from the United States to Timor-Leste, a new nation building a democratic state with an open and free economy.
Timor-Leste became independent in 2002, after 24 years of Indonesian occupation and two years of UN stewardship. The “new country of the new millennium” has come a long way since then, but much remains to be done: despite its significant offshore oil reserves, it is one of the world's poorest countries; its newly established public institutions are still weak; and it has some of the highest rates of maternal, infant, and child mortality in the world.
Since 2000, the U.S. Government has provided more than $300 million of assistance to Timor-Leste, a vast majority of which was managed by USAID. That assistance has tranistioned from post-conflict recovery to long-term sustainable development. USAID works with the government of Timor-Leste, rural communities, and international partners to implement programs that promote lasting stability through sustainable development. Currently, the USAID program in Timor-Leste focuses on three areas:
- Democracy, Human Rights and Governance
- Economic Growth and Trade
- Health, especially for women and children
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