When Timor-Leste was separated from Indonesia in 1999, it was placed under the control of the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor.
Timor-Leste became independent in 2002 but for the first years of independence the country was dependent on UN experts and foreign finance. Since then progress has been made, and Timor-Leste has for some time now been able to finance part of its development with its own oil and natural gas revenues. Yet, due to the lack of skilled manpower, there is still a need for foreign specialists for many years ahead and this action demands foreign financing as well.
The development cooperation between Timor-Leste and Finland is aimed at supporting the development of the civil society in Timor-Leste, as well as to alleviate the widespread poverty. So far the projects have concentrated on the following fields:
Since 2005 additional issues have been added to the list to strengthen the relationship between Finland and Timor-Leste and to increase the interaction between the people of the countries.
Increasing the number of rural projects is also a vital objective. At least 50 % of the projects are planned to be located outside the capital city of Dili. Rural areas became the main focus already at the end of 2004 when two project agreements outside the capital (Vecom and Vertude) were concluded.
The Local Cooperation Fund (LCF) is part of Finnish worldwide development cooperation with the objective of complementing other Finnish development efforts in the fields of poverty reduction and environmentally, economically and socially sustainable development, human rights, democracy and good governance and to strengthen the civil society. In addition, the fund provides support for small-scale cultural and social development activities. The fund supports organizations in Indonesia and in Timor-Leste.
The fund supports initiatives of local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community-based organizations (CBOs), and other institutions. In 2015, the priority areas for support are:
For more infomation about the fund and how to apply, see the How to Apply section.