About us

UNICEF in Timor-Leste

UNICEF Timor-Leste/2018/ahelin

Learn about UNICEF’s work and history in Timor-Leste

Since the restoration of independence in 2002, UNICEF has been working to promote and protect the rights and wellbeing of all children. We work with the Government of Timor-Leste and business and civil society organisations to ensure the rights of all girls and boys to survival, development, protection and participation. 

All children have a right to survive, thrive and to fulfil their potential – to the benefit of a better world. 

UNICEF works to bring basic services and opportunities to all children in Timor-Leste, including in education, health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, social protection and inclusion. 

Nearly half of Timor-Leste’s population is under the age of 18 years and about 70 percent of its population lives in rural areas. 

Approximately 70 percent of the country’s population lives in rural areas and 60 per cent is engaged in subsistence agriculture. Nearly 42 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.  

Timor-Leste’s large youth population presents an enormous opportunity and a significant challenge for the promotion and protection of children’s rights.

The country is considered lower middle-income, and its economy depends heavily on oil: Timor-Leste is the second-most oil dependent country in the world. 

UNICEF Timor-Leste/2018/assharmin

Working together for children

Partnerships are the heart of everything UNICEF does. The power of partnerships allows us to expand our reach, working with a wide range of like-minded partners to deliver our mandate for children, in line with our country programme. 

UNICEF works in partnership with the Government of Timor-Leste, development partners and civil society to ensure the survival, development, protection and participation of children, with a focus on inequities and disadvantaged children and their families.

UNICEF programmes are aligned with the Government of Timor-Leste’s National Strategic Plan 2011-2030.

National development partners

The Government of Timor-Leste leads our cooperation efforts and is UNICEF’s principal partner in Timor-Leste. We also collaborate with local governments, community-based organisations, civil society, non-governmental organisations, private sector, United Nations agencies, and other international organisations operating in Timor-Leste. Together, we strive to equip and empower children and their families to fulfil their potential and contribute to the development of the country.

UNICEF Timor-Leste/2016/ahelin

Our supporters

UNICEF in Timor-Leste is supported by generous contributions from governments around the world, a network of UNICEF National Committees, and private foundations. Our major funding partners, listed below, include:

  • The European Union
  • New Zealand Aid
  • The Government of Japan
  • The Australian Committee for UNICEF
  • The New Zealand Committee for UNICEF
  • The Japan Committee for UNICEF
  • The Swedish Committee for UNICEF
  • The Korean Committee for UNICEF
  • GAVI, the Vaccines Alliance