New Zealand works with Timor-Leste to support the development of a sustainable and growing economy. Together we're focused on private sector development, education and training, and security and justice.

Total aid to Timor-Leste is made up of programme funding for activities specific to Timor-Leste, as well as other funding which can include scholarships, regional initiatives, activities supported through the Partnerships Fund, and humanitarian response.

Image showing total aid for Timor-Leste 2015/16

Shared vision

New Zealand and Timor-Leste have signed a Joint Commitment for Development.  This sets out the shared vision of our two governments, specifies the priority areas we’re focused on, and outlines our areas of responsibility for the period 2016-2020.

Read our Joint Commitment for Development 2016-2020 [PDF, 5.3 MB]  

What we're supporting

We're working closely with the Timor-Leste Government and other partners to deliver effective aid activities.

Priority Activities and outcomes

Increase economic and food security benefits from agriculture

Supporting micro and small business enterprise development in rural Timor-Leste with an investment of $4.7 million over three years. This will create 1,000 new jobs, generate 750 micro and small business start-ups in the agriculture and tourism sectors, and deliver business development services to micro and small entrepreneurs.

Increase economic and food security benefits from sustainable fisheries and aquaculture

Supporting aquaculture capability to meet nutrition, food security and income generation targets. By 2019, this will result in:

  • an increase in fish consumption by more than a kilogram per person each year
  • an increase in the productivity of fish ponds to in excess of 2 tonnes per hectare each year
  • 200 small and micro-enterprises established
  • 600 jobs created
  • $2.3 million generated in sales.
Improve knowledge, skills and basic education

Improving access to, and the quality of, early childhood education with:

  • an investment of $12 million over five years to improve teacher training and support, learning materials and facilities, and parent education
  • an investment of $2.6 million across two districts to improve the learning and development outcomes of 5,000 children. It's expected that 80% of these children will show improvements by 2016
  • proven early childhood education models that can be replicated nationally.

Increasing the financial literacy and business management expertise of small business owners through training. This is expected to achieve a 25% increase in monthly household incomes.

Improving the literacy and numeracy of children and their caregivers by investing $5.3 million over five years in distributing quality, relevant learning materials to 130,000 young children.

Law and justice 
Strengthen law and justice systems

Promoting safe and secure communities in Timor-Leste with the Timor-Leste Community Policing Programme. This involves six New Zealand Police advisors providing mentoring and capacity development support to the Timor-Leste National Police.

Providing complementary support through the Community-Oriented Policing Programme, which encourages the community to engage with security issues and with the Timor-Leste National Police.

Find out more about New Zealand Aid Programme activities in Timor-Leste  [PDF, 251 KB]

Recent achievements

Priority  Achievement

Increase economic and food security benefits from agriculture


Increased incomes through job creation and improvements to food production as follows:

  • created around 5,500 new jobs in the coffee sector (2011-14)
  • supported the export of 192 metric tonnes of green beans (480% of the target) (2011-14)
  • created 295 new full-time equivalent jobs in the cattle sector, and 166 new full-time equivalent jobs in the horticulture sector (July 2013 to July 2014)
  • increased the incomes of 3,623 households as cherry trees that were pruned in 2010-11 began to produce twice as much fruit than previously
Improve knowledge, skills and basic education

Trained 639 women in basic numeracy, with 85% of women who completed the course showing progress (above the target of 75%), and 709 women in financial literacy skills (April 2014 to April 2015).

Community learning magazines were produced and distributed to approximately 22,000 households, supported with a complementary radio programme (2014). As a result 13,000 children participated in a school writing competition. 

Law and justice
Strengthen law and justice systems

In 2014:

  • supported the establishment of 99 community policing councils
  • helped organise 739 events and training sessions, attended by 27,391 members of the public and 1,967 members of the Timor-Leste Police Force
  • delivered community policing training to 475 local police officers across 12 districts, over three days.

Evaluation and research reports

Joint Evaluation of the Timor-Leste Community Policing Programme (TLCPP) and Hametin Koperasaun Hamutuk Polisia ho Komunidade (HAKOHAK), August 2014