more about Timor Leste
Timor Leste has been rated by the United Nations as the poorest nation on earth with a per capita income of less than $US1.50 per day. 44% of the population lives below the poverty line and 46% of households have no potable water. Population growth is the highest in the world, with women of reproductive age having 7.8 births. Women have limited access to family planning. Despite high levels of breast feeding, the majority of children (and their mothers) are malnourished, with one report showing that 60% of families interviewed in 2003 had no food for at least one day in the previous fortnight.
Illiteracy rates are complicated by the use of Portuguese, Tetum, Indonesian and 34 dialects. About 15% of the population can speak Portuguese, 35% Indonesian and more than 50% Tetum.
Government expenditure is funded by import charges, taxes, grants from donor countries and money from the Oil Development Fund which has an estimated royalty flow over the next 20 years of $4.1b. The aim of the Fund is to ensure that interest from the oil royalties grows at a faster pace than withdrawals, so that when royalties cease the fund will still be earning interest. There is controversy about Australia’s share of the Greater Sunrise gas field. Using the median line between the countries, Timor-Leste has 90% of the field but Australia demanded and gets 50% of the royalties.
There is little infrastructure in East Timor – the roads are bad and there is limited electricity supply outside of Dili. Power cuts in Dili are frequent.
edited by Jude Conway
Jude was a co-founder of Asia Pacific Support Collective - Timor Leste (APSC_TL) and has been a longtime activist for an independent Timor Leste working in Darwin and Timor Leste.
This book of interviews with 13 women of Timor Leste was published by Charles Darwin University Press in 2010. Each woman tells her own story of the struggle for survival and the fight for independence that occurred in Timor Leste from 1974 until 2000.
It is available for $40.00 plus postage - contact us.
Some links to find out more about Timor Leste present and past:
and links to other groups that support various projects for women and children in Timor Leste:
the alola foundation http://www.alolafoundation.org/index.php
east timor women australia http://www.etwa.org.au/
Psychosocial Recovery & Development in East Timor www.pradet.org