USAID has contributed more than $1.5 million to fight COVID-19 in Timor-Leste in addition to adapting programs to meet the challenge.
The United States Agency for International Development in Timor-Leste is working hand in hand with the Government of Timor-Leste to help the country mitigate the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic in Timor-Leste. The American people have generously donated $1.6 million in funds to the effort. USAID is adapting existing programming where possible to help meet the challenge.
USAID provided $1.1 million from its Global Health Emergency Reserve Fund to help the government prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, risk communication, infection prevention and control, and more. USAID also has contributed $500,000 for risk communication, community engagement, and infection control and water and sanitation in health clinics in several municipalities.
USAID PROGRAM ADAPTATION
USAID’s Customs Reform Project helped the Customs Authority develop a fast-track clearance list for essential COVID-19 medical supplies. The Plastics Solution Alliance, which includes USAID, distributed hand-washing stations made with recycled plastic. USAID’s Tourism For All developed a Tourism Reboot Initiative to help the industry recover post-COVID. USAID’s Increasing Community Resilience in Oecusse distributed COVID-19 prevention posters and telephones community leaders with prevention messages. Reinforce Basic Health Services organized Timor-Leste’s first municipal COVID-19 response workshop for all stakeholders in Covalima Municipality. Customs and USAID’s Avansa Agrikultura Project have switched to virtual training to ensure their education efforts continue. Avansa also worked with the PNTL to ease travel restrictions for farmers and vegetable collectors to take produce to markets. Several USAID Implementing Partners provided transportation for government officials to deliver COVID-19 subsidy checks to communities across Timor-Leste.
Existing humanitarian partners are also supporting COVID-19 response efforts. For example, the Strengthening Institutional Capacity for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management program is coordinating with the Ministry of Health on greater COVID-19 response in border communities and has distributed posters and stickers on prevention. The Red Ready program is training Red Cross branches, improving financial reporting capacity to account for COVID-19 response, and improving Red Cross IT capacity to support the response. The Good Resilience program worked with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and five NGOs to produce assessments of food security and the functionality of markets, giving the government and development partners new tools to fight food insecurity.