United States Promotes Timor-Leste Health System Sustainability in New USAID Activity

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U.S. and Government of Timor-Leste officials launch the USAID Health System Sustainability activity in Dili.
U.S. and Government of Timor-Leste officials launch the USAID Health System Sustainability activity in Dili.
Cris Guterres/USAID

For Immediate Release

Friday, July 2, 2021

DILI, Timor-Leste - The U.S. government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), today launched an activity with the Government of Timor-Leste to help ensure that more Timorese citizens can access affordable health services through a well-functioning national health system.

The new USAID Health System Sustainability activity will support the Ministry of Health, National Institute of Health (INS), and other institutions, to design and manage quality health services for the Timorese people.  The $15.6 million USAID activity will focus on using data to make informed decisions and increasing financing for better health, for example, by prioritizing government funding for health care and expanding the role of the private sector and insurance companies to improve health facilities and programs.  The project team will also help officials set up procedures to recruit and train qualified health professionals to work across the country.

“Strong health systems are essential as the country prepares for and copes with pandemics and other health challenges,” said U.S. Ambassador Kevin Blackstone at a ceremony in Dili attended by Timor-Leste’s Minister of Health, Dr. Odete Maria Belo, and newly arrived USAID Mission Director, Zema Semunegus.  "We are pleased to partner with the government and people of Timor-Leste to design rigorous, data-driven systems that will help ensure good health for future generations of Timorese.”

The USAID Activity will also use social and behavior change methods and tools to increase adoption of healthy behaviors. Promoting gender equality in all areas of its work, the Activity will train civil society organizations in behavior change approaches as well as monitoring and accountability for essential health products and services, including supporting government stakeholders to better understand the perspectives and needs of their clients and health workers who provide services.

USAID Overview:  The United States government, through USAID, works in partnership with the government of Timor-Leste to support broad-based and effective development.  Since 2001, USAID has provided nearly $350 million in development assistance to Timor-Leste. USAID supports Timor-Leste in its efforts to build a more prosperous, healthy, and democratic country.  USAID does this by supporting programs that foster inclusive and sustainable economic growth, especially in the agriculture and tourism sectors; improve the health of the Timorese people, particularly women and children; and strengthen the foundations of good governance – all areas that are highlighted in Timor-Leste’s Strategic Development Plan 2013-2030 and will serve to make the country more self-reliant to better address their own development challenges.

Last updated: September 27, 2021

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