The European Union plans to donate 20.5 million euros to Timor-Leste (East Timor) to repair and maintain roads in three districts of the country, under the terms of an agreement signed Monday in Dili.
"With this district road project and the existing rural road project, the European Union is contributing to improving 218 kilometres of roads in the country," said Dick Meganck, the director of the EU directorate-general for development and cooperation for Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East/Gulf and the Pacific.
The programme for district road repair and maintenance complements the EU's rural development programme launched in 2011 and expected to cost 11 million euros.
Cited by Portuguese news agency Lusa, Dick Meganck also said that construction of roads would drive job creation, would have a positive impact on living conditions and was essential for development of the agricultural sector, particularly the coffee industry. As a result of this it will also increase East Timor's exports.
The East Timor Deputy Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Minister, Constbncio da Conceicao Pinto, said that the EU's financial support since the country's independence, on 20 May, 2002, totalled over 200 million euros. (macauhub)