TITLE=JAPAN EAST TIMOR MEETING (L-ONLY)
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
/// 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
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)
15-Dec-1999 21:48 PM EDT (16-Dec-1999 0248 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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