DILI, 06 february 2023 (TATOLI) – Timor-Leste Minister of Finance, Rui Gomes signed a financial agreement with the Hon. Charge d’Affaires of Australia’s Embassy in Timor-Leste, John Fakes, on Direct Funding Arrangement Phase 3 worth AUD 20 million, on Monday.
Minister of Finance Rui Gomes, said Timor – Leste and Australia marked another history by signing the ceremony of Direct Funding Arrangement between the Government of Timor-Leste and the Government of Australia for the “Community Resilience and Economic Recovery for Timor-Leste During the COVID-19 Global Pandemic Phase 3”
“The Direct Funding Arrangement is worth AUD 20 million (approximately USD 15.5 million). The fund was disbursed through our two main programs, namely PNDS and “Bolsa da Mãe Jerasaun Foun” (BdMJF) – a cash transfer program that provides regular monthly payments to pregnant women (during their pregnancy) and children up to 6 years old. As well as assisting with the Mobility Program for Timorese workers to Australia,” Finance Minister, Rui Gomes said at the signing of the agreement ceremony at the Ministry of Finance Office in Dili.
In the first and second phases, significant investments have benefited 390 Sucos (88%), with a total of 419 projects, composed of 230 water & sanitation projects, 25 agriculture projects, 106 roads & bridges projects, and much more.
In addition, a total of 13.354 registrations of BdMJF from three municipalities (Oecussi, Ainaro, and Bobonaro) have also received their monthly payments since the Program was first launched in June 2022.
“This support has indeed been instrumental for positive changes in the lives of thousands of pregnant women and undernourished children,’’ he stressed
Minister Gomes considers the assistance of Australian executive helped “the Government to achieve its global commitments related to work, including achieving Goal 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and Goal 5 (Gender Equality) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
At the same place d’ Affaires of the Australian Embassy to Timor – Leste, Jhon Fakes, noted that after the two previous packages worth US$ 18 million had been provided, the Australian Executive had decided to inject a further US$ 14 million by the end of this year totaling around US$ 32 million granted in last 3 years.
“This contribution is a sign of our confidence in the financial management of Timor – Leste. We know it will be well spent and we are committed to continuing supporting Timor- Leste in the upcoming future,’’ he said.
Of the US$ 18 million, $ 5 million is destined for PNDS, $ 7 million for the payment of the Bolsa da Mae ‘New Generation, and $ 900,000 to support the Secretariat of State for Vocational Training and Employment (SEFOPE) to support the Training and skill related to the Pacific Labor Mobility Program (PALM) among others.
Journalist: Camilio de Sousa
Editor : Nelia Borges