Press Release: New Initiative to Improve Food Security, Nutrition, and Resilience in Timor-Leste

New Initiative to Improve Food Security, Nutrition, and Resilience in Timor-Leste

The United States will contribute $4 million to strengthen food security for the Timorese people


January 31, 2023, Dili, Timor-Leste – President José Ramos-Horta, along with representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) launched a new initiative to improve food security, nutrition, and resilience to crises in Timor-Leste.  The $4 million USAID-funded Transforming agri-food systems to enhance food security, nutrition, and resilience to crises in Timor-Leste initiative will boost efficient food production and processing, improve farmers’ access to markets, and increase the availability of nutritious foods.  It will also support Timor-Leste’s transformation toward resilient and sustainable agri-food systems that boost efficient, inclusive, and nutrition-focused value chains.

The project will run from October 2022 to September 2024 and will target farmers and households, including pregnant women and children under the age of five, in Aileu, Ainaro, Baucau, Bobonaro, Covalima, Ermera, Lautem, Manatuto, Manufahi, and Viqueque.

The United States is proud to provide $4 million in new funding through USAID to help the Timorese people weather the greatest food security crisis of our time,” said USAID Chief Climate Officer Gillian Caldwell.  “These resources will help protect Timorese families from the devastating food crisis exacerbated by the war in Ukraine and help to build long-term food security and nutrition.”

Secretary of State for Fisheries Elidio de Araujo, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Thomas Daley, USAID Mission Director Zema Semunegus, UN Resident Coordinator Funmi Balogun, and FAO Representative for Timor-Leste Rajendra Aryal also attended the project launch.


About USAID. Since 2000, USAID has provided over $323 million in assistance to Timor-Leste to support inclusive and peaceful development, leading to a more prosperous, healthy, and self-reliant Timor-Leste.

 About FAO. FAO opened its representation office in Timor-Leste in 2012, following a request from then-President Ramos Horta. It focuses on improving food security, nutrition, and sustainable agriculture, economic opportunities and decent work for all, and sustainable management of natural resources and resilience to climate change.