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Project Background

Timor-Leste is one of the world’s newest and poorest countries — a small nation with around 74% of its population living in rural areas. It is also a land vulnerable to droughts, flash flooding, cyclones and unpredictable weather. And although rich in oil and gas, the revenue from these natural resources does not always reach where it is needed most. This has led to a critical need for improved infrastructure and essential services, such as education and health. 

Inequality between urban and rural communities is also increasing, while issues of food security, unemployment, environmental degradation and gender-based violence are widespread. 

For more than 40 years Oxfam has been supporting development and humanitarian work in Timor-Leste. We’re currently working on practical solutions to help rural communities out of poverty and towards sustainable livelihoods.

Project Overview

Oxfam has been supporting development and humanitarian work in Timor-Leste for over 40 years and currently implements a multi-sectoral programme by working in partnership with civil society organizations, working directly with communities, and constructive engagement with government. Two Oxfam affiliates (New Zealand and Australia) are supporting the Oxfam Country Strategy for Timor- Leste (2015-2020) and are working under a single management structure, with Oxfam Australia as the managing affiliate. 

Oxfam’s vision for Timor-Leste is for it to be a country enjoying prosperity and equality, where all citizens, actively shape the development process and enjoy the well-being that flows from this process, even in times of crisis. 

To support this vision, Oxfam in Timor-Leste is working with local partner organisations to deliver a three part program that reflects major challenges in Timor-Leste now and for the next five years: integrated rural development, Land Inclusive development and Humanitarian Preparedness and Response.

As an organisation with a commitment to gender equality, gender justice is a cross-cutting issue and will be mainstreamed throughout the program. The Oxfam program goes beyond ensuring women have access to and participate in the program, to challenging social norms and structural discrimination that lead to and perpetuate gender inequality.

Key Project Objectives

In Timor-Leste eighty percent of the population is dependent upon the agricultural sector for their main source of income. This project will contribute to equitable and resilient livelihood development, benefiting small-scale women and men producers from vulnerable communities through improvements to agricultural production and improved access to markets. 

Objective 1: To improve food security for women and men in rural communities through increased production, income and/or access to assets for targeted rural women and men 

Objective 2: To improve resilience to disasters of vulnerable rural community’s resilience by increasing community capacity to identify hazards and take action to reduce vulnerability. 

Objective 3: To develop leadership and influencing skills of vulnerable women and men in rural communities so that they are able to influence local and national decision-making processes that impact on their livelihoods and food security. This will be achieved by targeting women and men able to monitor and participate in local development planning processes and programs, including increased leadership skills of target women and support from their peers and families.

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