DILI, Timor-Leste – USAID Mission Director James S. Wright today officially launched two new projects that aim to secure a violence free future for Timorese women and children. The United States is funding the two people-to-people reconciliation projects with nearly $2.4 million.
USAID’s projects entitled Healthy Relationships for a Violence Free Future and HARMONIA: Ending Gender-Based Violence will promote gender equality, non-violent family relationships and enhance protection practices. The two projects are being implemented within a framework of ending gender-based violence (GBV) using a conflict-resolution method in Ermera, Liquica, and Covalima municipalities over a period of three years.
“We hope that with this intervention we will ensure that the two projects are on the right track to help end gender-based violence in Timor-Leste and help Timor-Leste towards its journey to self-reliance," said USAID Mission Director James Wright. "It is imperative that the response is a coordinated one, to result in the best use of time, funds, and outcomes for the Timorese people.”
"Ending Gender-Based Violence and and Healthy Relationships for a Violence-Free Future are good programs and align with the policy of the eighth constitutional government. The programs will complement government's own program to end gender-based violence in Timor-Leste. We hope that these program for the duration of three years will reduce gender-based violence in the areas where these programs are being implemented," said Secretary of State for Equality and Inclusion, Sra. Maria José da Fonseca Monteiro de Jesus.
The projects are aligned with the Government of Timor-Leste’s National Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence (2017-2021) which aims to reduce and ultimately eliminate gender-based violence in Timor-Leste.
According to the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS, 2016) 40 percent of ever-married women in Timor-Leste report having experienced physical, sexual or emotional violence by a current or former partner. The DHS also showed that in Covalima municipality the rate of violence is 51 percent, in Ermera it is 58 percent and in Liquica it is 51 percent. USAID’s projects will work with other stakeholders to address the root causes of such prevalence of gender-based violence.
USAID recognizes that there are many other actors in the effort to end gender-based violence in Timor-Leste. To successfully achieve this, it is imperative that the response be coordinated among stakeholders and communities. This includes the national and subnational government through the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Social Solidarity and Inclusion, and Secretary of State for Equality and Inclusion as well as the referral network and response service providers.
About USAID: USAID works in partnership with the government of Timor-Leste to support broad-based and effective development. Since 2001, USAID has provided over $350 million in development assistance to Timor-Leste. USAID supports Timor-Leste in its efforts to build a more prosperous, healthy, and democratic country through programs that foster inclusive and sustainable economic growth, especially in the agriculture sector; improve the health of the Timorese people, particularly women and children; and strengthen the foundations of good governance—all areas which are highlighted in Timor-Leste’s Strategic Development Plan 2011-2030. To learn more, visit: www.usaid.gov/timor-leste.