Seeking to leave behind its violent past, Timor Leste is focusing on reconstruction, development and reconciliation with the help of the international community. Since 1999, the European Commission Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) has provided some €47 million in emergency assistance to the most vulnerable victims of violence and in response to alarming levels of malnutrition.
Assisting victims of violence
In response to an outbreak of violence in 2006, ECHO funded projects with some €7.6 million which helped provide access to safe water and appropriate sanitation in the camps and transitional shelters, camp management, protection, health and child protection. It also supported the return and re-integration of the displaced after the violence abated.
Reducing the impact of natural disasters
In addition, through its disaster preparedness program (DIPECHO), the European Commission assists vulnerable communities to understand and assess the risks to which they are exposed and helps them to take appropriate pre-emptive measures to reduce them. These measures address mainly flooding, landslides and droughts. Under the DIPECHO 7th Action Plan (2010-2011), Timor Leste will benefit from a regional project being implemented by the IFRC which will provide training to local authorities and national Red Cross societies. This will help fill a small but important gap and will respond to the capacity-building needs of this relatively new Red Cross Society. By including Timor Leste in a regional programme, operational knowledge and regional exchange of experiences in disaster risk reduction programming will be increased amongst all national societies.