Washington, D.C., November 26, 2019 — Supporting the government of Timor-Leste to transform its natural wealth into improved human capital and sustainable infrastructure are key elements of the World Bank Group’s new 2020-2024 Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for Timor-Leste, endorsed today by the Board of Executive Directors.
The new five-year strategy is aligned with Timor-Leste’s Strategic Development Plan (2011-2030), which lays out a path for the country to reach upper middle income status and eradicate extreme poverty by 2030.
The World Bank Group strategy is focused on strengthening the foundations for private sector led growth, particularly in agriculture and tourism; improving the quality of public services by promoting investments in education, health, social protection, water and sanitation; and raising productivity by connecting communities, especially farmers, through investments in transport and digital infrastructure.
The strategy will be carried out by the Bank Group’s member organizations, which include the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which focuses on the private sector, and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), which offers political risk insurance and credit enhancement guarantees.
“Timor-Leste has made significant progress towards achieving its development goals since independence in 2002,” said Rolande Pryce, Acting Country Director for Indonesia and Timor-Leste. “However, key challenges remain, especially in developing human capital and improving the quality of public spending. This CPF follows the World Bank Groups long-term commitment to Timor-Leste. It will support the Government to strengthen its public financial management systems and provide financing for targeted investments in education, water and sanitation and connective infrastructure”
“We recognize the private sector is vital to diversify Timor-Leste’s economy and also expand people’s access to services and deliver much needed infrastructure,” said Azam Khan, IFC Country Manager for Indonesia, Malaysia and Timor-Leste. “The potential areas for boosting private sector participation include agribusiness and tourism, which will support economic diversification and help create needed jobs for people to realize their potential. In addition, the role of the private sector in improving access to finance will help small and medium sized enterprises, especially women-owned enterprises, expand.”
The new strategy is underpinned by a Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD), the World Bank Group’s comprehensive analysis of the opportunities and challenges for Timor-Leste to end extreme poverty and increase shared prosperity. The CPF also reflects consultations with government, development partners, the private sector, civil society and academia.
The Country Partnership Framework builds on work undertaken under the previous Country Partnership Strategy which has delivered benefits including climate resilient infrastructure with the 110 kilometer Dili to Ainaro road project, reduced impact from natural disasters for over 60,000 people living along the road corridor, improved nutrition practices for families in over 300 villages in Baucau and Viqueque and access to savings and credit for over 13,000 people, especially women entrepreneurs through the IFC’s investment in the Kaebauk Investimentu no Finansas microfinance institution.