Press Release: United States Commits $1.1 Million to Help Timor-Leste Fight COVID-19


Thursday, April 9, 2020

Contact: USAID Development Outreach Communications Officer James Reindl, Email: or Development Outreach Communications Specialist Cristóvão Fausto Guterres, 330-0500 ext. 2038, 7732-6213. Email:

DILI, TIMOR-LESTE – The U.S. Government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has committed $1.1 million to help the Government of Timor-Leste fight COVID-19, U.S. Ambassador to Timor-Leste Kathleen Fitzpatrick announced today.

The funding from USAID’s Global Health Emergency Reserve Fund will help the government prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, risk communication, infection prevention and control, and more. The U.S. assistance will be channeled through USAID’s Reinforce Basic Health Services Activity and the World Health Organization, which has the lead role in assisting the Timor-Leste government in battling COVID-19.

“As we fight the battle against COVID-19 at home, the United States continues to support countries globally through our humanitarian assistance, and this includes a $1.1 million investment in Timor-Leste’s work to control the spread of this virus.” said Ambassador Fitzpatrick. “The United States has funded more than $100 billion in health assistance and nearly $70 billion in humanitarian assistance globally since 2009. U.S. contributions to the World Health Organization in 2019 exceeded $400 million, almost double the second largest contribution.

Across the globe, USAID is supporting countries affected by COVID-19, working directly with governments, multilateral organizations, NGOs, the private sector and other organizations responding on the ground to combat the pandemic. This includes working with frontline workers to slow the spread, care for the affected, and equip local communities with the tools needed to fight back against COVID-19. To date, USAID and the State Department has made available nearly $274 million to combat COVID-19.

In Timor-Leste, the United States has invested nearly $70 million in health assistance and more than $542 million in total assistance over the past 20 years. USAID’s Reinforce activity has been working the past four years to help the Ministry of Health make Covalima a national model for health care delivery as well as with the National Institute of Health on in-service training. Better quality of care in Covalima has improved maternal and child health outcomes, strengthened health care worker capacities and brought communities together to create solutions to issues such as lack of emergency transportation, all steps that help the country on its road to self-reliance.

“We are glad to have this financial assistance from USAID to further strengthen the support that we are providing to the Ministry of Health (MoH) for COVID-19 response. Having any amount of financial resources available at this juncture is very crucial to be able to respond more effectively,” said Dr Rajesh Pandav, WHO Representative, Timor-Leste.

 For more information about novel coronavirus disease COVID-19, please visit:

For more information about USAID’s response to COVID-19, please visit:

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 and tourism sectors; 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: