Subject: DPA: UN. announces 59.2 million dollar budget for East Timor

U.N. announces 59.2 million dollar budget for East Timor

06/09/2000 Deutsche Presse-Agentur

Dili, East Timor (dpa) - The United Nations announced on Friday details of a 59.2 million budget for East Timor for the current financial year with priority for health, education and infrastructure repairs.

The head of the U.N. Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) finance department, Fernanda Borges, said 14.45 million dollars would be spent on salaries for a new 9,000-strong East Timor civil service.

After weeks of often heated debate, the budget was approved on Thursday by the National Consultative Council (NCC), East Timor's defacto parliament.

The 15-member NCC comprises 11 East Timorese and three UN officials and is chaired by UNTAET chief, Sergio Vieira de Mello.

Borges said funding for the budget would be drawn from the U.N. and World Bank Trust Funds for East Timor although final approval would be required at an international donors meeting in Lisbon on June 21.

A total of 13.6 million dollars will be spent on health, education and social affairs with 5 million dollars earmarked for infrastructure and 10.4 million dollars for water, sanitation and power.

The NCC approved the allocation of 4.3 million dollars on a new East Timorese police force comprising an estimated 516 personnel by the end of the financial year. That number is expected to rise to more than 3 thousand over three years.

UNTAET forecast revenue earnings from taxes and charges this financial year at 22 million dollars, including a 1 million dollars in export taxes on the country's coffee crop.

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