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Basic Indicators

Source: UNICEF: The State of the World's Children Report

Population: 1,134,000 (2009)
National language: Tetum, Portuguese
Per capita income: US$ 2,460 (2009)
Life expectancy: 62 (2009)
% of population using
improved drinking water sources:
69% (2008)
% of population using
adequate sanitation facilities:
50% (2008)
Under 5 Mortality Rate: 56/1,000 live births (2009)

Sponsor a child today!Timor-Leste gained independence from Indonesia in 2002. Roughly the size of Connecticut, Timor-Leste shares a border with Indonesia and controls half of the island of Timor in the Timor Sea. Since its independence, the country has been plagued by violence orchestrated by a small minority still loyal to Indonesian rule.

Internal violence in 1999 destroyed most of Timor-Leste's infrastructure and nearly 100 percent of the electrical grid, impeding economic development. However, with the help of an international peacekeeping force, the country is being rebuilt. Currently, the country's economy centers on small farms and the export of coffee, but has the potential to generate revenue from oil and vanilla exports.

We currently implement projects in Lautem and Aileu districts, and have been working in camps for internally displaced people in the capital, Dili, since the political crisis of 2006. As the emergency situation has stabilized and the camps are gradually being phased out, we are now helping to reintegrate displaced people into their communities. Except in emergency situations, Plan does not provide direct assistance. Instead, we help communities develop, grow and, ultimately, support themselves.


Hear from the children

An essential part of Plan's work is empowering children to discuss the issues that matter to them and to take part in decisions that affect their lives. To help you learn about these issues, the children in Plan communities have put together a series of publications called "See Our World": Read what the children have to say about their lives.