Dili, 7 October 2010 - To promote local development and decentralization in Timor-Leste, the Government of Ireland has provided a 750,000 Euros contribution to the Local Government Support Programme (LGSP). LGSP is a joint programme, supported by the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) programmed and housed at the Ministry of State Administration and Territorial Management (MSATM). Mr. Eoghan Walsh, Head of Mission of Irish Aid and Ms. Mikiko Tanaka, UNDP Country Director in Timor Leste, signed the agreement during a ceremony that took place at UNDP Country Director Office in Dili.
"Local development and good local governance are essential for poverty reduction and the future development of this country. Irish Aid has been supporting decentralization and local governance in Timor Leste since 2003 and we will continue supporting the process in future as part of our Country Strategy for Timor Leste for 2010-2014. With this additional contribution we would like to reinforce Ireland's commitment to strengthen local governance in Timor Leste - said Mr. Eoghan Walsh.
"UNCDF and UNDP are grateful to the Government of Ireland for its valuable contribution and for its continued support to UNDP and UNCDF Programmes. I am confident that with our partnership we will contribute to addressing some of the key development challenges of Timor-Leste", stated UNDP Country Director, Ms. Tanaka Mikiko.
"Ireland has been the program key donor since 2003, when support to decentralization and local governance in Timor Leste started through LGSP predecessor programs. Since then, Irish Aid has been a strong, constructive and reliable partner to LGSP and the Ministry of State Administration. The additional contribution will allow LGSP to continue and expand its support to the Ministry of State Administration and Territorial Management (MSATM)"- explained Susanne Kuehn, LGSP Chief Technical Advisor.
The programme was established in 2007, building on two predecessor projects, the Local Government Options Study (LGOS) and the Local Development Programme (LDP). Its overall he objective is to contribute to poverty reduction in Timor-Leste by supporting accountable, transparent and effective decentralized government. The Programme is housed at the Ministry of State Administration and currently has around 20 project staff.