The New Zealand Aid Programme activities in Timor-Leste are based on the overall aid programme mandate and align to the Government of Timor-Leste’s priority needs identified in its Strategic Development Plan 2011-30. Current priorities are private sector investment, security and justice, and education and training.
The New Zealand Aid Programme jointly funds with USAID, a coffee farm rehabilitation programme, implemented by the National Cooperative Business Association, and the Cooperativa Café Timor, which benefits rural farmers and communities. The activity aims to increase the quality, quantity and value of coffee products, thereby increasing the average income of farmers and communities from coffee exports. This is achieved through improving farmer knowledge and skills in coffee production, and linking producers to buyers at national and international markets.
The New Zealand Aid Programme works with a local non government organisation (NGO), Moris Rasik, which provides savings and loan services to poor women in rural areas for small business activities. Moris Rasik is active in all thirteen districts of Timor-Leste, and most clients are involved in small-scale trading of basic items such as food and firewood. New Zealand’s support assists Moris Rasik to deliver basic business skills and financial management training to help small businesses achieve success.
The New Zealand Aid Programme contributes to the deployment of five New Zealand Police officers in the United Nations Integrated Mission to Timor-Leste (UNMIT). Funding is also provided to the Timor-Leste Community Policing Programme (TLCPP). The four year TLCPP which started in July 2011, involves New Zealand Police advisors supporting the Timor-Leste National Police Force (PNTL) develop and implement an effective community policing model across Timor-Leste to build safe and secure communities. The New Zealand Aid Programme further jointly funds with USAID the ‘Securing Communities through Outreach and Police Engagement (SCOPE), implemented by The Asia Foundation. SCOPE aims to improve security in Timor-Leste by strengthening collaboration between communities and the police.
The New Zealand Aid Programme also supports the Provedoria for Human Rights and Justice, Timor-Leste’s national human rights institution, through the UN Development Programme. The Provedoria monitors and works to prevent human rights abuses and maladministration. This work is central to upholding the constitutional system, ensuring the functions of the government are transparent, and providing the public with a channel through which complaints can be heard and remedied. The work of the Provedoria is an important complement to New Zealand’s community policing support.
The New Zealand Aid Programme is committed to supporting access to good quality education in Timor-Leste and is focused on strengthening the Timor-Leste Ministry of Education to ensure better quality and delivery of education services and improved teaching and learning outcomes.
New Zealand also supports CARE, an international NGO, to develop and distribute the Lafaek community magazine and a radio programme. The magazine and radio programme provide information on a diverse range of subjects including literacy, numeracy, basic business skills, the economy, health and hygiene, good parenting and agricultural practices.
New Zealand provides 15 scholarships annually for Timorese students to study at tertiary institutions in New Zealand, and supports a graduate internship programme, which assists recent graduates in securing employment on return to Timor-Leste.