International Aid for Agricultural Development of Timor-Leste

Hyejin Lee1, *
1 Institute for International Development Cooperation, Konkuk University, Seoul, South Korea

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© 2021 Hyejin Lee

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Institute for International Development Cooperation, Konkuk University, Seoul, South Korea;



The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste is the newest nation in the 21st century, which became independent in 2002. Yet continued violent tensions kept the country from stabilizing its sociopolitical situations and it remains as a least developed country with many challenging issues, including food/nutrition insecurity. The international community has been supporting Timor-Leste to ameliorate it by aiding the agricultural development of the country.


The objective of this study is to examine the aid profile of the donors for Timorese agricultural development. The findings of the study intend to provide the Timorese government and donors with a useful dialogue point for more efficient collaboration.


The aid data reported to the Creditor Reporting System are sorted for the profile examination. The analysis is based on the aid disbursement between 2002 and 2019.


Australia was the largest donor, mostly shaping the agricultural aid profile of the donors. Japan, USA, and New Zealand were the major donors in that order, following Australia. Yet, their prioritized sub-sectors or interests appeared to vary; Australia prioritized strengthening Timorese seed systems and focused on nutrition-sensitive agriculture, Japan emphasized rice production, USA was mainly interested in cash/horticultural crops value chains, and New Zealand invested mainly in agricultural cooperatives. Of the multilateral organizations, the European Union was the principal donor.


The Timorese government and donors may need a strategic collaboration to utilize available resources more efficiently as its food/nutrition insecurity is rooted in complex issues and improving it also hinges on development of other sectors.

Keywords: Agriculture, Food security, Nutrition security, Official development assistance, Timor-Leste, Nutrition.