Flag of Timor-Leste

Our Work

Language: English | Tetun

Roughly half of Timorese people live in extreme poverty. This contributes to poor health and chronic malnutrition — both key drivers of stunted growth, where children have truncated height and weight. 
USAID works closely with the government and people of Timor-Leste to foster inclusive and sustainable economic growth, especially in the agriculture sector; encourage private-sector competitiveness; tackle serious health challenges, particularly those affecting women and children; strengthen sub-national democratic institutions and the foundations of good governance; protect the environment; and help at-risk populations adapt to climate change.

  • USAID supports Timor-Leste in its efforts to build a more prosperous, healthy and democratic nation.
  • USAID is helping more than 33,000 people in 250 communities earn higher incomes and improve their nutrition
  • A USAID-supported, wetsuit-like garment is saving the lives of women suffering from postpartum hemorrhage in remote areas.  


Since over 70 percent of the population relies on agriculture for their livelihoods, USAID focuses on increasing farm income and improving nutrition for farm households throughout the country. Our partnerships support activities aimed at improving incomes by increasing farm productivity and establishing links to new markets. Additionally, USAID is a new development leader in the tourism sector, focused on sustainably increasing the number of tourists visiting the country and improving their satisfaction, which translates into new jobs and stronger businesses.  


Timor-Leste has the highest maternal and under-5 mortality rates in Southeast Asia. Building on our previous health work, USAID is working to improve the clinical skills of Ministry of Health staff to deliver high quality and high-impact basic health care services in reproductive, maternal and newborn health. This includes increasing provider adherence with protocols and standards, and enhancing service delivery to provide family planning counseling and increase both the percentage of women receiving antenatal care visits and the number of deliveries at health facilities.


Timor-Leste has faced daunting challenges to establishing a viable state and a representative democracy. The country still lacks the fundamental governance systems essential to adequately respond to persistently high rates of poverty, unemployment, growing socioeconomic inequality and unresolved conflict. It also faces challenges upholding human rights, reducing impunity and increasing access to basic public services. USAID partners with the Government of Timor-Leste to strengthen democratic institutions further consolidate good governance practices and work with the judiciary and legal service providers to facilitate increased access to justice for rural populations.


Timor-Leste Country Profile [PDF]