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DATE=12/15/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=JAPAN EAST TIMOR MEETING (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-257204 BYLINE=AMY BICKERS DATELINE=HONG KONG INTERNET=YES CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: International aid donors to East Timor opened a two-day conference in Tokyo Thursday. As Amy Bickers reports from the V-O-A Asia News Center, they envision a three-year package worth hundreds of millions of dollars for the former Indonesian province. TEXT: Aid donors from more than 30 wealthy countries and international institutions are formulating an aid package for East Timor, which focuses on its longer- term development and reconstruction needs. The meeting, hosted by the Japanese government, is co- chaired by the United Nations and the World Bank. Indonesia left the territory in ruins following a late August referendum in which the East Timorese voted overwhelmingly for independence. Widespread killing and destruction followed, leaving East Timor in tatters. The territory is now under U-N control, but the effects of the crisis are still keenly felt. While emergency aid is flowing into East Timor, the conference now underway focuses on how to rebuild its economy for the future. Hal Hill, a specialist on Indonesian Affairs at the Australian National University in Canberra, says that East Timor needs money to restart the flow of commerce and to reconstruct its shattered infrastructure, including roads, water supplies, telecommunications and electricity. /// FIRST HILL ACT /// It is a devastatingly poor country with a devastated infrastructure, and clearly it needs external funds, and fairly large quantities of external funds to help in this reconstruction phase in establishing a new nation. /// END ACT /// The donors are working to forge a package worth more than 300-million dollars, based on a recent World Bank-coordinated mission to East Timor. They hope to allocate 58-million dollars for education spending, 40-million dollars for healthcare, and 24 million dollars for rebuilding the agriculture sector. Additional money would go towards economic management, civil services, and the judiciary. In addition, the U- N is seeking 200-million dollars for humanitarian assistance. Another goal of the conference is to establish a panel of United Nations and East Timorese authorities to work with donors to make sure that the spending projects are prioritized and properly implemented. Mr. Hill says it is vital that the aid is administered in line with a broad economic strategy for East Timor. /// SECOND HILL ACT /// It needs funds which come into a coherent policy framework. Unless there is a very clear economic and development policy framework, foreign funds by themselves will not be of much assistance and they could even have a negative impact. /// END ACT /// East Timorese representatives will also meet with Japanese business leaders to outline the current situation and suggest possible investment projects that could help to revitalize the territory. The World Bank is calling for foreign banks to enter East Timor as soon as possible to provide commercial lending and other services. (SIGNED) NEB/AB/TVM/gm 15-Dec-1999 21:48 PM EDT (16-Dec-1999 0248 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .

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