Minister Conor Lenihan announces €1.14 million in additional support to Timor-Leste (East Timor)
Conor Lenihan T.D., Minister of State for Development Cooperation and Human Rights, today announced additional Irish Aid support of €1.14m to assist Timor-Leste in coping with the aftermath of the crisis in that country earlier this year. This brings to over €6.5 million the amount which Irish Aid will provide in direct support in Timor-Leste in 2006.
The announcement coincides with the publication of the United Nations Special Commission of Inquiry in Timor-Leste into the incidents and circumstances which contributed to the recent crisis. The report points to the frailty of State institutions and the weakness of the rule of law. This underlines the need for a substantial and long-term effort on the part of the Timorese Government and its international partners to address the challenges facing that country.
Making the announcement Minister of State Lenihan said:
“I am conscious of the need for continuing long-term support for development efforts in Timor-Leste. Following the unrest in April and May I spoke to Prime Minister Ramos Horta and assured him of Ireland's continuing commitment to provide support. I also set in train a review of our aid programme to ensure that it addresses the key underlying causes of the instability and makes a positive impact in the lives of the people of Timor-Leste.”
The funding will be allocated to key Irish Aid partner agencies. It will be targeted at the underlying causes of instability including youth unemployment. It will provide support for the holding of parliamentary and presidential elections, due in the first half of 2007, and for the justice sector and human rights monitoring.
Note for Editors:
Civil unrest was sparked in Timor-Leste's capital, Dili, earlier this year following the sacking of 600 members of the armed forces. More than 30 people were killed and more than 100,000 people were displaced in camps in Dili and elsewhere. The situation remains fragile and the number of internally displaced persons remains high. In 2003, East Timor was designated as Ireland's first programme country in Asia. Ireland's long-term development programme helps the government and civil society in reducing poverty by delivering essential social services and by strengthening governance and human rights. Funding of approximately €12 million has been provided since 2003.
19 October 2006