COUNTRY PROGRAM OVERVIEW
Timor-Leste is one of the world’s youngest countries. Since its independence in 2002, the country has been making remarkable progress in peace and state building, economic growth, and social development. However, despite these notable achievements, TimorLeste has been facing numerous challenges. Weak governance, low literacy, poor infrastructure, and lack of health and education facilities among many other issues, hinders the country’s basic service delivery and socio-economic development. Rapid deforestation, frequent flooding, recurrent landslides, and climate-change-induced drought have contributed to the further expansion of widespread poverty and vulnerabilities to disasters.
Timor-Leste has the highest maternal and under-5 mortality rates in Southeast Asia. Poverty, poor health and chronic malnutrition are key drivers of stunted growth, affecting not only a very high proportion of children, more proned in in rural areas than in urban areas due to the difference in the types of food consumed. Development reports’ recommendations has indicated that this issue should receive the highest priority in government Health spending.
In response to these multi-layered challenges, the Cruz Vermelha de Timor-Leste (CVTL), an auxiliary organisation to the Government of Timor-Leste, has been proactively tackling the humanitarian needs of vulnerable people and implementing community development iinitiatives. The CVTL’s Strategic Plan 2015-2019 aims to save lives and improve the quality of life of the most vulnerable people in the country, particularly through an integrated programme approach that combines together all four sectors of health promotion, disaster risk reduction, community resilience, youth education, and organizational development.
Aligned with the CVTL’s vision and strategic plan, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) will continue to focus its support on three key areas, including Disaster Risk Reduction, Health, and Water and Sanitation.
The IFRC will scale up its support to CVTL through the Integrated Community-Based Risk Reduction (ICBRR) programme, which aims to build safer, healthier, and more resilient communities by constructing water suppy and sanitation facilities, pormoting healthy practicies through the Community-Based Health and First Aid (CBHFA), reducing community disaster risks, supporting livelihoods, and encouraging youth engagement and voluntary services in community development activities. In parallel, in order to improve the CVTL’s service quality and foster the National Society’s sustainable development, the IFRC will reinforce its technical advice to and knowedge sharing with the CVTL through numerous activities in strengthening the organisation capacity, diversifying strategic partnerships, and streamlining the IFRC’s support in times of disasters and crises.