H.E. Mr. Helder Lopes, Vice Minister of Finance, attended the High-Level Dialogue on Enhancing Macro-Economic Resilience to Natural Disasters. The Dialogue, which took place on the 25th June 2015, in Nadi, Fiji, was organized by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for Asia Pacific Region and attended by the Ministers, Governors, and high level public service officials from the Pacific Island Countries including Timor-Leste and Seychelles.
The participants shared their experience and discussed the policies on how to enhance macro-economic resilience to natural disasters, aligning monetary policy to enhance resilience to shocks and support growth and minimizing the risk of debt distress arising from the natural disasters.
H.E. Vice Minister was one of the panelists in the event. He spoke specifically on the policies of strengthening ex-ante and ex-post resilience to natural disasters and the leverage of support from the Development Partners.
H.E. Helder Lopes, in his presentation, stated that drought and flooding were the two main natural disasters that affecting Timor-Leste most. He further elaborated that the policies that the Government had put into place to address these problems were “to set aside money a contingency fund, through the normal budget process, which amounts to an average of 5% of the total annual budget to response to ex-post disaster recovery”. He also added that “the Government starts to design and implement climate resilient infrastructures” in order to address ex-ante mitigation and prevention of the risks of natural disasters.
H.E Vice Minister, in his response to the effectiveness of the Donor’s coordination in the disaster management, emphasized the approach of “country owed and country led” under the New Deal Agreement. For further Donor’s assistance, H.E Mr. Helder Lopes proposed that Donors should focus on “the technical development of local staff” and most importantly on “the designing and implementation of the climate resilient infrastructures”.