Indonesia’s occupation of Timor-Leste from 1975 to 1998 was marked by violence (100,000 lives were lost) and resulted in large-scale destruction of economic infrastructure. Since gaining independence in 2002, this island nation continues to struggle with extreme poverty and slow rebuilding efforts.
Eighty percent of the population relies on agriculture for food and income but most families in rural areas can only produce enough food to last for eight months. As a result, levels of chronic malnutrition are extremely high, particularly among children under five. Timor-Leste is also plagued by energy poverty, with only a small percentage of the population having access to electricity.
- Agriculture & Food: Building resilience of farmers through training and improved irrigation and storage systems that boost their yields
- Environment: Promoting clean energy use in rural villages through the introduction of affordable solar lighting and fuel-efficient cookstoves
- Economic opportunity: Connecting global producers, in-country importers, and village market owners to grow the solar business sector and create jobs
Timor-Leste: The dream that launched Lourdes
In the remote mountains of Timor-Leste, 15-year-old Lourdes had a crazy dream. Today, with help from Mercy Corps, that dream is now in motion.
Timor-Leste: In Timor-Leste, clean cookstoves offer opportunity for all
Freddie works for a small clean cookstove company that just launched this year. Clean cookstoves are critical in Timor-Leste: On an island facing the full brunt of climate change, where most people cook over an open flame, they burn less fuel and produce less smoke.
Timor-Leste: Life of a girl: Solar power lights the way for Lourdes
Follow 15-year-old Lourdes through her day, and find out how Mercy Corps' clean energy programme is helping her find time for her schoolwork among her other household responsibilities.
Timor-Leste: Fish ponds bring hope to hard-working families
As rice farmers cope with changing weather patterns, we're helping them build new sustainable sources of food and income.
Timor-Leste: Benefits of clean energy radiate through villages
In Timor-Leste, 65 percent of the population does not have access to electricity. We're helping communities there build clean energy markets that improve their lives and strengthen their economies.
Timor-Leste: Solar energy lights the way for rural families
Celeste da Silva and her husband Clementino grinned broadly as they held up the recent addition to their modest tin-roofed home. The source of their contentment? A simple solar light.
Central African Republic, Timor-Leste: Employees engaged to drive strategic community investment
Western Union's new Innovation Awards ask employees to choose which Mercy Corps initiatives to invest in. The first two awards are funding economic development programmes in the Central African Republic and Timor-Leste.
Timor-Leste: Fighting hunger in a neglected nation
In one of the world's newest countries, where over one-third of the population regularly experiences food shortages, we're helping 4,500 subsistence farmers build the foundation for sustainable change.
Timor-Leste: Sharing the responsibility to grow more food
After a bumpy six hour drive from our head office in Dili, we finally reached our first destination on my recent field visit in Timor-Leste: the village of Maununu.
Timor-Leste: Farmers in Timor-Leste store up for a better future
The road to Ainaro District from Dili —the capital city of Timor-Leste, one of the world's newest countries — has never been as bad as it is now, at least in my experience.