Timor-Leste (East Timor)

Timor Leste. Man with tractor in the field.

Timor-Leste (East Timor) is one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia. Almost half the population lives below the poverty line.

Timor-Leste is largely an agricultural nation with 75 per cent of people living in rural areas and reliant on farming for their survival. Its economy is growing, fuelled largely by natural oil and gas resources. Despite this growth, malnutrition and poor health are widespread and most households suffer from food shortages at least one month of the year.

Inequality is most prevalent between rural and urban areas. Many families grow corn, soy beans, fruit and rice. Rice is one of the most important crops in Timor-Leste.

Oxfam in Timor-Leste

Oxfam’s programs in Timor-Leste focus on the need for rural development to address the issue of poverty and the inequality between rural and urban areas.

  • In livelihoods, Oxfam is supporting local farmers’ cooperative MCE-A to help rural families increase their yields of rice, coffee and other crops through better planting techniques, training, local processing and improving access to markets. MCE-A currently operates 22 cooperatives with more than 2,500 farmers. Working in cooperatives allows farmers to share equipment, tools, knowledge and skills, and farmers can access small-scale loans to buy new equipment.
  • We also work to strengthen development capacity and to create stronger alliances and partnerships with other countries and governments.
  • We work with over 60 partners to improve the well being of rural men and women by promoting active citizenship.  This is achieved through the strengthening of civil society's powers to influence processes that ensure national policies and practices help poor populations.