Government Gives Special Support to the New State of East Timor - O'Donnell
The Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Overseas Development Assistance & Human Rights, Liz O'Donnell, today announced a special aid package being provided by the Government to mark the independence of East Timor which will be celebrated on 20th May.
In announcing the package the Minister of State said.
“Together, we have come a long way since the Irish public first responded to the suffering of the people of East Timor. We now have a chance make a real contribution to that country as it crosses the threshold of national independence to become the first new State of the 21st Century”,
“This contribution also marks the Government's initial response to the recommendation of the Ireland Aid Review Committee that our aid programme in East Timor should be strengthened”.
Minister O Donnell also confirmed that
“planning is already underway for an East Timor country programme to build on the interim strategy with which we have been supporting the transitional administration in Dili”.
The Minister then expressed special appreciation for the lead role played by Mr. Tom Hyland and East Timor-Ireland Solidarity in supporting the cause of Timorese independence. The support provided by the Taoiseach and by the former Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. David Andrews, who will represent the Government at the official East Timor independence celebrations in Dili on 19-20 May, has also been highly significant.
The Minister of State highlighted the fact that
“this latest support focusses strongly on addressing, in a practical way, the shortage of skilled personnel and other working capacities needed to boost the work of the new Timorese Government at this crucial time”.
Note for Editors:-
The equivalent of US$1 million ( €1.124) is being channelled through the international trust fund which will support the work of the new Government in implementing key areas of policy. A National Development Plan has been prepared following the holding of national consultations which were funded by Ireland Aid and enjoyed exceptionally strong political and civil society support.
A further €800,000 is being provided to help fill critical technical posts across the new Timorese public service which have been identified in conjunction with the UNDP.
In addition, today's package includes €150,000 in support of the East Timor Commission for Reception, Truth & Reconciliation, €100,000 in support of the Office for the Promotion of Equality and a further €150,000 for small projects with quick impact which will be administered by the Ireland Aid Office in Dili to help local and community recovery.
A recent technical mission to East Timor has also had discussions with Irish and other NGO partners on a number of additional projects which are planned for later this year.