World Vision Timor-Leste


The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (also known as East Timor) lies 640km north-west of Australia, and covers the eastern portion of the island of Timor. Timor-Leste was a Portuguese colony from the early 16th century until 1975, and was then occupied by Indonesia.

On 30 August 1999, the people of Timor-Leste voted overwhelmingly to become an independent nation. Independence was formally declared on 20 May, 2002. The United Nations ended its peacekeeping mission in the country in December 2012.

Today, Timor-Leste has a population of 1.3 million people, of which over half are children. It ranks 132 out of 189 countries on the Human Development Index.

Fast facts

  • Under five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 50
  • Primary school completion: 83%
  • Women who have experienced intimate partner violence: 59%
  • People living below the poverty line (US$1.90 per day): 47%

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