Ambassador Kathleen Fitzpatrick Remarks at the Handover Ceremony of Timorese-made reusable masks to Education Ministry

My respects to Her/His excellency from the Ministry of Education

This afternoon, the Embassy of the United States of America is donating is donating 15,000 reusable fabric masks to the Ministry of Education. These masks are part of the broader effort to support Timor-Leste in the fight against COVID-19. As of today, the United States has have provided over $1.6 million in this effort. This includes the $1.1. million we provided in March. And, earlier today, at the Ministry of Health, I was very proud to launch a project of $500,000 from USAID. This project will work through UNICEF to provide water and sanitation facilities for a number of health clinics in Timor-Leste.

In addition, over the next few weeks the US Embassy will be launching a number of projects amounting to at least $125,000, and possibly much more. Here at the Ministry of Education, the masks we are providing today will support Timor-Leste as the Ministry prepares for children to return to classrooms. The masks will benefit thousands of school children and promote a safe and healthy learning environment. We are very proud that twenty Timorese women made these masks. This project also supports the efforts of the United States of America to provide economic opportunities to local workers and delivering sustainable solutions.

The United States Military’s Indo-Pacific Command provided the funding for the project. My thanks to our US Embassy Defense coordinator US Army Major Pablo Valerin for his efforts in making this happen. We salute the Timorese people for their courage in facing COVID-19. We encourage continued adherence to physical distancing, hand washing and other measures the government has urged, even as some aspects of the State of Emergency have eased.

Thank you