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Timor-Leste

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  • Photo: Mercy Corps

Our strategy

Address the root causes of poverty by increasing food production, building local economies and increasing access to energy and financial services for rural communities most vulnerable to climate change and other shocks.

The context

Indonesia’s occupation of Timor-Leste from 1975 to 1998 was marked by violence (100,000 lives were lost) and resulted in large-scale destruction of economic infrastructure. Since gaining independence in 2002, this island nation continues to struggle with extreme poverty and slow rebuilding efforts.

Eighty percent of the population relies on agriculture for food and income but most families in rural areas can only produce enough food to last for eight months. As a result, levels of chronic malnutrition are extremely high, particularly among children under five. Timor-Leste is also plagued by energy poverty, with only a small percentage of the population having access to electricity.

Our work

  • Agriculture & Food: Building resilience of farmers through training and improved irrigation and storage systems that boost their yields
  • Environment: Promoting clean energy use in rural villages through the introduction of affordable solar lighting and fuel-efficient cookstoves
  • Economic opportunity: Connecting global producers, in-country importers, and village market owners to grow the solar business sector and create jobs

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