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Timor-Leste is one of the world’s newest low-income countries; a small nation where almost 70% of the population live in rural areas. It is also a land vulnerable to droughts, flash flooding, cyclones and unpredictable weather. And although it is rich in oil and gas, the revenue from these natural resources does not always reach the people who need it most.

Inequality between urban and rural communities is also increasing, while issues of food security, unemployment, environmental degradation and gender-based violence are widespread.

For more than 40 years Oxfam has been supporting development and humanitarian work in Timor-Leste. We’re currently working on practical solutions to help rural communities out of poverty and towards sustainable livelihoods.



HAKBIIT project

Harmful social and gender norms make life especially tough for women in Timor-Leste, including limited access to education and economic opportunities as well as discrimination and gender-based violence. Oxfam is supporting women in rural areas to gain more control over their lives by establishing Savings for Change groups to learn how to set savings goals and invest in business activities. Men are also welcome in the groups, and members are encouraged to discuss and apply tools to help them understand gender roles in their household and community.

This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program.

Open the Books project

People with disabilities are particularly disadvantaged in Timor-Leste, suffering high levels of discrimination and stigma, and their needs are scarcely considered by government policies and programs. Oxfam is building on the significant momentum achieved by phase one of this project, which worked with local partners to support the disability movement to engage with Timor-Leste’s state budget process for the first time.

This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program.

Carbon Farming for Timor-Leste: Rai Matak project

Subsistence farmers are vulnerable to a changing climate. Oxfam is increasing the application of rural climate-smart practices such as reforestation and carbon farming. These activities deliver an economic return to farmers – especially women – while also supporting social enterprises in rural areas. This project is supported by the European Union.


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