The European Union funded, under the 10 European Development Fund, a € 10 million Enhancing Rural Access Project (ERA) Project to rehabilitate and maintenance of rural roads network of Timor Leste, scheduled for implementation over a period of four years, (2011-2015) through the International Labour Organisation ( ILO) focusing upon labour-based road rehabilitation and private sector development
The ERA Project seeks to improve the access to rural areas through the rehabilitation and maintenance of around 150 km of priority rural roads in selected districts of Timor-Leste. ERA further aims to establish capacities, both in the private sector and in contract management. The identification of the roads to be rehabilitation by the Project will be done within the framework of the Rural Roads Master Plan of Timor Leste, also financed by the European Union.
Timor-Leste is essentially an agriculture-based economy with approximately 75% of its total population of about 1.1 million living in rural areas. A key constraint to economic development is the poor condition of infrastructure in general, and the road network in particular. Another serious structural problem of the economy is the inability to create employment opportunities for the rapidly expanding labour force. The program is expecting to provide job opportunity to some 13.000 people from rural areas.
Source: EU Delegation to Timor Leste