8 August 2008 The United Nations and Timor-Leste’s Government have embarked on a five-year programme to reduce poverty, consolidate democracy and provide basic social services for the people of the nation which the UN helped shepherd to independence in 2002.
The UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for 2009-2013, signed by the Government and the UN in Dili today, will guide the support provided by the UN Country Team towards further peace and stability in the country and includes programmes worth some $314 million.
“Timor-Leste is moving towards a consolidated peace and stability. The UNDAF is the road map that will guide our direction over the next five years,” said Finn Reske-Nielsen, the UN’s Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Timor-Leste.
“It shows that Timor-Leste is moving into a more stable phase that enables it to address the need for strong, efficient and effective institutions and improve the lives of its citizens throughout the country,” added Mr. Reske-Nielsen, who is also the deputy head of the UN peacekeeping mission there, known as UNMIT.
In a recent report to the Security Council, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that “despite the best efforts of the Government and its partners, Timor-Leste has not experienced significant progress in poverty alleviation or in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals” – the set of anti-poverty targets world leaders pledged to achieve by 2015 – since gaining independence in 2002.
The UNDAF programmes will pay particular attention to poverty reduction, especially among vulnerable groups such as youth, women, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and disaster-prone communities.
They will also focus on strengthening State institutions such as the courts, Government ministries and local administration. In addition, the UNDAF includes programmes to promote education, health, nutrition, water and sanitation, social welfare and social protection.
“At the end of the five years, we would expect that the courts and Government institutions are stronger and trusted. We would also expect to see more and better schools, health facilities, infrastructure and social protection,” Mr. Reske-Nielsen stated.
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