Dili, Timor-Leste, 06 Mar 2012 -- This morning, on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, His Excellency the Secretary of State of Agriculture and Arboriculture of Timor-Leste, Eng. Marcos da Cruz and Mr. Man Ho So, Deputy Regional Representative, FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific and FAO Representative to Timor-Leste, inaugurated the new FAO Representation Office in Timor-Leste at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) in Comoro, Dili.
As the youngest Asia’s nations, 90 percent of Timor-Leste’s one million people depend on subsistence farming and fishing to make a living and the country still depends on import of food.
FAO has been implementing emergency relief and rehabilitation activities in Timor-Leste since 1999, and established an Emergency Coordination Unit in Dili in 2000. FAO’s emergency activities include food security, bio-security, strengthening animal health services, nutrition, post-harvest management practices, forestry, fisheries and capacity development. Timor-Leste also benefits from FAO’s Initiative on Soaring Food Prices (ISFP), a global programme launched to assist countries reeling from the rapidly rising prices of food commodities. Total FAO support to Timor-Leste amounts to US$38.5 million through 34 emergency and technical assistance projects. In addition, Timor-Leste has been a participant in three regional and global programmes from FAO. Timor-Leste became a member of FAO in 2003.
In line with the progresses that Country experienced in the last decennium, with the establishment of the new Representation office in Timor-Leste, FAO is underscoring the progress made from the early days of emergency response through the years of rehabilitation and now shifting the main focus on long-term development programmes. A new Country Program Framework is currently being drafted and FAO aims to assists the Government of Timor-Leste in creating and implementing an institutional and regulatory environment that aims to promote food security and sustainable development.
The new operative framework will be joint long-term perspectives for Timor-Leste in close and direct relation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. FAO aims to support the sustainable development of the agricultural and related sectors in Timor-Leste. Food and nutrition security will remain the top priority of the field work with renewed focus on strategic and vital areas of cooperation such as the initiative on soaring food prices, natural resources management and land and property rights.
Press release issued by the FAO office in Dili.