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NZ Gives more aid to East Timor

New Zealand is to provide NZ$500,000 to help train East Timorese officials working in key government and community services, says Associate Foreign Minister Matt Robson.

The money will help support the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) provide flexible, short-term training and advisory services in key development areas devastated by last year’s violence, he says.

"We have also contributed, with great success, some of New Zealand's best prison officers, police and customs officers to help train and assist the East Timorose.

“All the critical government functions such as law and order, health, education and community services completely collapsed in East Timor last year following the violence and the withdrawal of Indonesian government officials.

“Many skilled people were displaced or fled the country, and now East Timor faces the hard task of not just rebuilding itself but also preparing for the eventual withdrawal of the United Nations Transitional Administration (UNTAET) which is running key services at the moment.”

Matt Robson says New Zealand and other countries would be able to assist the process by offering a mixture of in-country advice, short-term training programmes and study tours for East Timorese leaders and other senior officials.

“It is important that East Timorese are given access to training if they are to successfully manage the transition to self-determination and nationhood,” says Matt Robson.

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