Dili, July 12, 2011 - The World Bank congratulates the Government of Timor-Leste on holding the 2011 Development Partners’ Meeting and preparing the 2011-2030 Strategic Development Plan to benefit the people of Timor-Leste.
The World Bank also commends the Government of Timor-Leste for taking a much needed global leadership position for developing countries through the “g7+” to address the challenges faced by post conflict states.
The World Bank has been present in Timor-Leste for nearly a decade since independence and has stood at the side of the Timorese people as they have established the tenets of a modern state. The World Bank continues to support the government and people as they seek to strengthen the foundations for peace and stability, and to build more inclusive economic growth for the benefit of all.
During the last decade, Timor-Leste has made tremendous progress in health, education and public financial management. Through partnerships with the World Bank and other development agencies, Timor-Leste has targeted youth and education and has allowed more children to stay in school, with enrollment rates increasing by almost a quarter between 2004 and 2009.
Through the Youth Development Project, youth grants have been provided for more than 270 sub-projects across the country with nearly 200 completed, and have financed training schemes, community infrastructure as well as major rebuilding and rehabilitation of youth centers.
These are real life achievements for the people and country of Timor-Leste.
Timor-Leste has also has developed an impressive set of public policies that have allowed the country to boast a sound macro-economic framework, and lead the way in terms of governance of natural resource revenues. In this regard the World Bank acknowledges Timor-Leste's membership of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which encourages transparent and accountable management of the country’s oil revenues and natural resources.
The people and government of Timor-Leste have made substantial progress since independence and the World Bank is partnering with the government as it works to move from post-conflict to a modern, institutionally strong and economically resilient country.
Timor-Leste shows that it is possible, in record time, to emerge from conflict and fragility and look to the future with confidence and optimism.
Many challenges remain. While tremendous progress has been made over the years, there remain issues with poverty and unemployment, particularly in rural areas. New strategic choices will need to be made to better enable the country to follow the path of emerging economies.
The Strategic Development Plan is a means by which the Government can start to address these challenges and is an example of a solid, homegrown initiative that represents an ambitious, forward looking path to development.
“The Strategic Development Plan offers a vision for the future direction of the country at a very crucial time for Timor-Leste", said Mr. Ferid Belhaj, World Bank Country Director for Timor-Leste. "It is an example of a clear political vision coupled with an intimate knowledge of the country, of its people and of its economic and social challenges and opportunities."
The Strategic Development Plan will serve to underpin the World Bank’s new Country Partnership Strategy, which is being led by the World Bank's Country Manager, Mr. Luis Constantino and will be developed over the coming months.
This Partnership framework will thrive to support the government in creating inclusive growth through jobs, public services and infrastructure for all, based on the sound management of public finances. It will be built on consultations with a wide range of stakeholders across Timor-Leste, and with national development partners.
As it further strengthens its commitment to the people and government of Timor-Leste, the World Bank will bolster the substantive partnership with development allies and will work with them to support harmonized and coherent development efforts across the country.