MDF TL has stimulated

USD 4.2m

in private sector investment

and generated

USD 11m

in additional income



women and men

Our work in Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste has achieved much since gaining independence in 1999. Significant progress has been made to consolidate stability and peace in the nation. However, Timor-Leste still faces challenges in growing and diversifying its economy away from natural resources. Private sector investment is limited, and there are few exports aside from oil, gas and coffee.

MDF is working in Timor-Leste to support economic diversification to stimulate investment and encourage business growth, focusing on economic sectors with pro-poor income and employment potential. MDF’s two priority sectors in Timor-Leste are agriculture and tourism, aligned with the economic development priorities of the Timor-Leste Strategic Development Plan (2011 – 2030).

COVID-19 response and recovery

As a small island nation heavily dependent on importing and transporting goods, services and people, COVID-19 had an outsized impact on the economy. MDF Timor-Leste responded by pausing tourism interventions, supporting coffee exporters to continue operating and generating market intelligence on pandemic-related disruptions.

With the border recently reopened, MDF TL is restarting work on tourism while addressing emerging shocks related to inflation, food, and input prices.

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Inclusive Growth

MDF's work in Timor-Leste has contributed to a transformative impact on the country’s poorest. In 2021, MDF generated USD 10,711,864 in additional income for poor women and men, with women comprising 50 per cent of beneficiaries. Many of MDF’s partner businesses achieved good results on inclusivity, particularly women’s economic empowerment and benefits to people with disabilities.
Climate change and disaster resilience is a central part of MDF’s theory of change. Coffee is particularly vulnerable to global warming, as coffee trees grow best in cooler temperatures and as global temperatures gradually rise, the areas suitable for coffee farming are expected to decrease. MDF’s work in coffee rehabilitation includes supporting coffee businesses to establish nurseries to grow coffee seedlings, as well as non-coffee seedlings that can serve as intercropped trees.

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