In 2013, Timor-Leste ranked 134 out of 186 countries in the United Nations Development Programmeâ€™s Human Development Index (UNDP 2013). In 2012, 37.4 per cent of its 1.17 million citizens lived on less than US$1.25 per day, and 68.1 per cent of its population lived in what the UNDP defines as â€˜multidimensional povertyâ€™â€”that is, they experienced multiple deprivations at the individual level in health, education and standard of living (UNDP 2014). However, since 2005, Timor-Leste has had access to relatively large revenues from the Bayu-Undan and Kitan oil and gas fields. It may also receive additional future revenues from the Greater Sunrise field and from other fields yet to be explored (UNESCAP and UNDP 2003). Some projections predict that these revenues could run out by 2025 (Laâ€™o Hamutuk 2014), and questions of how the government should use these revenues to address the countryâ€™s development challenges remain subject to debate. The cash payment schemes that the government introduced in 2008 should occupy a leading role in this debate, as while they play a role in peace-building and social protection, they also contribute to rising levels of government spending. Therefore, it is important for long-term development to assess who these programs are targeted at, how they are implemented, what impact they have, and what alternatives may be available.
|Title of host publication
|A New Era? Timor-Leste after the UN
|Sue Ingram, Lia Kent and Andrew McWilliam
|Place of Publication
|Published - 2015