The Minister for State Administration and Territorial Management, Dr. Arcangelo Leite, announced that 3.5 million US $ have been allocated in 2011 for the Local Development Fund (LDF).
The budget, which has been approved by the Council of Ministers and the Parliament early this year, will cover the implementation of small scale development projects mostly in the area of infrastructure, education and health care services, in all the 13 Districts of the country. All the districts have been allocated 3,62 US $ per capita, with the exception of Dili and Liquica which will receive 2,40 US $ per capita since they started participating in the planning process only in 2010.
"The renewed Government's commitment has two primary objectives: - Minister Leite stated - reduce poverty through better services and infrastructures, and accelerate the promotion of the decentralization process."
The 2011 budget has been increased from the 2 million budget allocated in 2010, showing the consistent and strong commitment of the Government towards the implementation of the decentralization process and local governance.
In 2011 the ministry will launch a new integrated approach in close collaboration with other line ministries at the central and local level, in order to harmonize the Local Development Fund approach into the new framework of the Decentralization Development Package (DDP). This is intended to substantially simplify planning procedure for the local development projects.
Started in 2004 as Pilot Project in the Bobonaro District, the Local Development Program has progressively been extended to all the 13 Districts until 2010. As a result, Local Assemblies and Sub District Development Committees have been established in order to promote an inclusive, bottom-up and transparent participation of the communities in the development fund allocation.