Tropical Cyclone Seroja hit the region over Easter weekend 2021 causing natural disasters in Timor-Leste that was not seen in nearly 50 years. Upon the request of the Government to the UN system to help with the needs assessment, UNDP took on technical lead in conducting the Housing and Building Damage Assessment (HBDA) in June 2021. .
The recently released second United Nations Socio-Economic Impact Assessment (SEIA-2) seeks to understand how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected different sectors of society in Timor-Leste – particularly the most vulnerable.
Fatima’s Café in Dili, the capital of tiny half-island nation of Timor-Leste, is one of a growing number of cafés meeting local consumer demand for one of the country’s most prominent industries – speciality coffee. Having opened in 2019 however, owner Fatima Moniz Soares has faced huge challenges in establishing her micro enterprise in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic – moreover she did so as a mother and female entrepreneur in a male-dominated business environment.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), supported by the Government of Japan, and the Asosiasaun Halibur Defisiensia Matan Timor Leste (AHDMTL) conducted a Braille letter training in three municipalities to increase the participation of people with visual impairment in the upcoming elections.
As one of the world’s youngest country’s the challenges faced by Timor-Leste’s youth during the COVID-19 pandemic weigh heavily on those faced by the nation as a whole. Nearly 75% of the population is aged under 35 and one fifth of the population is aged between 15-24 – ages where learning, networking and social engagement are key for forming skills and opportunities to contribute to the community and economy.
Irene Sequiera’s story about her job at “Kiosk Verde”, a green shop for recycled products, holds out hope for the early-stage development of circular economy in Timor-Leste which can potentially address the issue of municipal solid waste (MSW) and unemployment in the capital, Dili.

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