Subject: LUSA: Foreign aid needs still great, Gov't to tell Dili donors' meeting

02-06-2003 12:18:00. Notícia nº SIR-5088929 Temas: new destaque2 East Timor: Foreign aid needs still great, Gov't to tell Dili donors' meeting

Dili, June 2 (Lusa) - The East Timorese government will use a three-day meeting with "development partners" this week to underline its achievements during the first year of independence and urge continued aid to consolidate fledgling institutions and public services.

In a report prepared for presentation to the Tuesday-Thursday meeting in Dili, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri's cabinet points to successes in establishing "the necessary institutonal structures", passage of varied legislation, steps to assure "good governance", and the increased capacity of the civil service.

But the government report, obtained by Lusa Monday, also calls attention to many areas of weakness.

"It has become apparent that the capacity of response of public services, including basic economic and social services, have not expanded sufficiently rapidly to respond to the growing expectations of the population", the report stresses.

It notes that incidents of rioting in some towns, including Dili, and sporadic attacks by armed bands at the end of 2002 and early this year "gave more urgency" to meeting expectations on both the social and security fronts.

Among Dili's pressing administrative needs, the report underlines the fact that only 152 of a promised 300 international government aides - 100 to be paid by the United Nations and 200 through bilateral accords - had taken their posts.

Beyond the meeting with aid partners, Dili will also be calling for continued international attention and support in President Xanana Gusmão's upcoming visit to Europe and the United States.

Gusmão's 10-day tour begins in Paris Sunday and includes New York and Lisbon.

He will be honored at each stop with peace and human rights prizes from European and Catholic church organizations.

In France and Portugal, the East Timorese president will also meet with national leaders.

ASP/SAS Lusa

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