Poverty and underemployment levels in Timor-Leste are high, particularly among rural people in the informal economy. This situation has been aggravated by the COVID-19 restrictions. To leverage capacities and approaches developed through existing employment intensive investments projects and complement existing work, the project supports recovery of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing direct employment opportunities for the rural poor and vulnerable population through routine road maintenance activities.
The project covers 12 municipalities and collaborates with the relevant government ministries, municipal governments, workers' and employers' organization to achieve the following targets:
- Decent employment and income support to 1,850 direct beneficiaries (including 50% women, 2% persons living with disabilities);
- Improved rural road access on 275 kms of core rural roads;
- Model for targeted emergency employment-intensive public works programme; and
- Strengthened capacities and dialogues between tri-partite constituents regarding design, implementation and monitoring emergency employment-intensive public works programs - with cross-cutting aspects like gender equality, involvement of people with disabilities, and the principle of non-discrimination mainstreamed.
The project will contribute to the 2021-2025 Timor-Leste United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework – Priority 2 on Sustainable economic opportunities and decent work, especially for women and youth; and SDG 8.2 to achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value added and labour-intensive sectors. The project is also aligns with the priority under the Timor-Leste Strategic Development Plan 2011-2030 of eradicating poverty and improving rural road access, using employment-intensive approaches.