Timor-Leste remains the youngest and one of the poorest countries in Asia. Like other countries in the region, it faces major disaster-related challenges including earthquakes, floods, landslides and drought. The ongoing internally displaced persons situation in the country for over two years has absorbed most of the resources for assistance.
The population in general has a comparatively low educational level with about half of the adult population illiterate.(1) Unemployment, particularly among youth, and the lack of work opportunities have contributed to social tension. In addition, massive migration to the nation's capital, Dili, has further added to the stress factor in the country.
This situation, coupled with very high death rates related to preventable causes, offers huge challenges to the country and its people.
The main priorities for the national society, Cruz Vermelha de Timor-Leste (CVTL) are the improvement of preventive health and care, disaster management, community mobilization and empowerment, and organizational development of the national society to strengthen its capacity and enhance its value to beneficiaries and stakeholders.
Good partnerships have been developed with partner national Red Cross societies in Australia, Austria, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, and Spain. Close working relations have also been built with national and international volunteer organizations such as Oxfam, Auscare and Australian Volunteers International (AVI), UNICEF and with national ministries and organizations.
The total budget for 2009 is CHF 1,758,888 (USD 1,607,758 or EUR 1,120,311) and for 2010 is CHF 1,745,562 (USD 1,595,578 or EUR 1,111,823).
The programmes will target vulnerable communities and poor families, and specifically women and children in water projects as they are primarily responsible for collecting water.