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U.N. projects aim to help kick-start E. Timor economy.

DILI, East Timor, March 8 Kyodo

The U.N. Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) on Wednesday approved several regional projects to help kick-start the territory's new economy.

"UNTAET has approved 11 Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) for five districts in East Timor...Lautem, Ainaro, Oecussi, Manufahi and Viqueque," UNTAET spokesman Manuel de Almeida told a press briefing.

He said the total budget for these projects in the five districts would be $160,000.

According to Almeida, the QIPs are aimed at addressing East Timor's unemployment problem and helping kick-start the economy.

"These projects are very much community-based," he said, adding they are "small in nature."

In Lautem, for instance, rehabilitation of the school building will be covered by the project, as well as repairs to the water infrastructure, roads and other public property.

During the violence that followed the announcement of a U.N.-sanctioned referendum on self-determination last September, many schools were destroyed, roads damaged and water supplies stopped.

Simon Williamson, U.N. humanitarian affairs officer in charge of coordinating the program, said project proposals are prepared by interested agencies in collaboration with community leaders and submitted to UNTAET district administrators.

But he said the key to the QIPs is a streamlined decision-making process which allows funds to be disbursed almost immediately.

Almeida said numerous road repair projects will be implemented in Ainaro, Oecussi and Manufahi, while cassava-processing plants will also be revived in Manufahi and drinking water supplies improved in Viqueque.
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Publication:Asian Economic News
Date:Mar 13, 2000
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