DILI, 24 february 2021 (TATOLI) – Japan’s Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Kinefuchi Masami, said the Japanese Government has provided supports for multiple large-scale government projects as well as smaller-scale projects that directly benefit the local population.
“A total of 178 smaller projects have already been carried out with the aim of directly serving the population of the 13 municipalities,” Ambassador Masami, said at the ceremony for signing the grant contract, at the Japanese Embassy in Dili.
Ms Masami said that the Community Security Assistance Fund (GGP, in English) has played an important role in the areas, focusing on improving and expanding the provision of social services in Timor-Leste.
It also supports several sectors, such as civil construction, in the construction of educational and health institutions, in addition to the installation of the water supply system. In the same vein, the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports.
Mr Masami highlighted the Japanese supports for the Education sector, particularly the support provided for the Construction of the UNTL Engineering Faculty building in Hera and provided many profesional training as well as in various municipalities.
“We completed more than 50 projects to improve basic educational facilities,” he said.
Responding to the request from Ministry of Education, Japan recently started a project to strengthen science and mathematics in primary education through UNESCO by utilizing Japanese experience and expertise in this area. “If the project is successful we will continue to expand our assitance in education sector in the future,” he said.
Armindo Maia, thanked the Japanese Government for its support in implementing the projects in question.
According to the minister, the Timorese executive has allocated about $ 31 million of the 2021 state budget for the rehabilitation and construction of new schools, including classrooms, rooms for teachers and libraries.
“The budget of US $ 31 million is insufficient for the rehabilitation and construction of schools across the country. We identified around 600 needy schools in the country. The approved budget is just enough to rehabilitate and build more than 200 schools, leaving the remaining 400 schools out,”he said.
Despite this setback, Armindo Maia believes that Timor-Leste’s partners will continue to support Timor-Leste in order to fulfill its outlined objectives.
“The PNDS continues to support us in several areas and we know that we have several partners that have helped us, so we must have close coordination with our development partners,” he said.
According to the minister, the said projects will benefit a wide range of students, so “the Government will have to focus on these projects, because children are the nation’s future”.
“We need to develop the skills of our students. The first program includes several projects in terms of infrastructure, school management, teacher training, curriculum revision and other materials”, he concluded.
Journalist: Nelia Borges
Editor: Rafael Belo