Skip to main content

Timor-Leste country strategic plan (2023–2025)

Operation ID: TL02

CSP approved at EB November 2022.

Since the restoration of its independence in 2002 Timor-Leste has made significant progress, demonstrating a strong commitment to reconciliation, reconstruction, human rights and democracy. Twenty years on, with a continuing decline in oil and gas revenue, it is critical for Timor-Leste to invest in accelerating socioeconomic development.

Timor-Leste is a least-developed country and a small island developing State with a population of 1.3 million people. Its multidimensional poverty rate is 45.8 percent, the highest in Southeast Asia, with women, people with disabilities and communities in remote rural areas at greatest risk of multidimensional poverty.

An Integrated Food Security Phase Classification analysis published in 2019 found that only 25 percent of the population was food secure. A 2019 “fill the nutrient gap” study found that almost all households could afford a diet meeting their energy requirements but a nutritious diet was unaffordable for most households. Timor-Leste is a food-deficit country, importing 60 percent of its food requirements, and agricultural productivity is low.

Malnutrition is a serious concern. The prevalence of stunting in children under 5 is 47.1 percent, among the highest in the world. Communities in Timor-Leste face various forms of malnutrition, including undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and, increasingly, obesity and overweight.

Significant challenges face the building of a sustainable, diversified economy. Climate change and disaster risks pose significant threats to the future development of the non-oil economy, which is primarily agrarian. Gross domestic product contracted by 8.6 percent in 2020, the largest decline since independence, as a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and exacerbating the underlying challenges in the economy.

WFP will support the Government’s ambitions for zero hunger through capacity strengthening. Complementing national and bilateral investments, WFP’s comparative advantage in Timor-Leste is its ability to strengthen the delivery of national programmes related to food security, nutrition and disaster risk reduction in partnership with other actors.

This country strategic plan is aligned with the United Nations sustainable development cooperation framework for Timor-Leste for 2021–2025 and the Government’s Strategic Development Plan for 2011–2030. Its formulation was informed by the findings from an independent evaluation of the country strategic plan for 2018–2022. It will contribute to strategic outcomes 1, 2 and 4 of the WFP strategic plan for 2022–2025 and Sustainable Development Goals 2 and 17 through the following three country strategic plan outcomes:

➢ Outcome 1: Crisis-affected populations in Timor-Leste have equitable access to adequate nutritious foods that meet their basic nutritional needs during and in the aftermath of shocks.

➢ Outcome 2: People vulnerable to nutrition insecurity, in particular women, adolescent girls and school-age children, in Timor-Leste have equitable access to enhanced nutrition-sensitive programmes that promote and enable healthy diets by 2025.

➢ Outcome 3: People vulnerable to shocks in Timor-Leste benefit from enhanced national capacity for disaster preparedness and response and supply chain management by 2025.

Outcome 1 represents a contingency plan for crisis response that will be activated only if needed. Outcome 2 focuses on WFP’s contribution to the achievement of the consolidated national action plan for nutrition and food security, with particular attention directed to nutrition outcomes for women, adolescent girls and school-age children. Outcome 3 encompasses WFP’s contribution to capacity strengthening for national supply chains and emergency preparedness and response.

WFP will achieve these outcomes in partnership with the Government of Timor-Leste at the national and municipal levels, United Nations partners, including the other Rome-based agencies, research partners, civil society and community-based organizations, donors and the private sector.