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Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-11-17) Andrews, Kathryn ; Bosch, Lander ; Teixeira, Janssen ; Meidina, Ilsa ; Nagpal, SomilTimor-Leste is facing a human capital crisis. Children born in Timor-Leste today will be less than half as productive as adults as they could be if they enjoyed complete education and full health. Moreover, the Petroleum Fund, the main driver of the economy since the country’s independence in 2002, risks being depleted within a decade, threatening the sustainability of Timor-Leste’s economy, as well as health, education, and social protection systems. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified and accelerated these challenges and deepened socioeconomic and geographic inequalities across the country. To be ready for a future that will be primarily driven by the country’s human capital assets, the time available to Timor-Leste is limited and the task at hand an enormous one. Despite this daunting outlook, there are opportunities of a lifetime that need to be seized now to address this crisis. The country’s population is primarily young, and a rapidly closing window of opportunity exists to build high levels of human capital through quality education, health, nutrition, and social protection. By capitalizing on the youth bulge and translating it into a demographic dividend, the people of Timor-Leste can become the drivers of the country’s economic growth. Eight key messages can be distilled from the 2023 Timor-Leste Human Capital Review (HCR). These messages serve as a common reference point for the Government of Timor-Leste (GoTL) and other stakeholders active in human development to identify short- and medium-term priorities for investment in health, education, and social protection. Together, these can yield individual-level and macro-level economic benefits and improve development outcomes.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-11) Gavalyugova, Dimitria ; Caminha, Sunita ; Verdial, Teresa ; Perova, ElizavetaAgriculture is the predominant economic activity in Timor-Leste, with more than 80 percent of households engaged in at least minor farming work, with 70 percent of farmers over the age of 401. Despite its leading role in the livelihoods of Timorese households, the agricultural sector has not fulfilled its potential and cereal yields in Timor-Leste are among the lowest in the East Asia and the Pacific (EAP) region. This is a direct barrier in the country’s efforts to achieve its National Development Strategy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.