The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Timor-Leste in 2020 was great, and the ripple effects may be felt for years. Paradoxically, it was not that the population was directly impacted—indeed, the small half-island nation stands out with only a score or so of cases, and no deaths—but that the oil-dependent economy and the status of financial reserves took a major hit with the collapse of oil and stock prices. In the interest of managing the pandemic, the incumbent prime minister declared a state of emergency, withdrawing his earlier resignation and thus averting a political crisis. Still, as the new economic realities surrounding oil-related mega-infrastructure projects hit home, we see churn among the concerned ministers and technocrats, amid a major rethink of the way ahead, and with many of the choices invidious in the challenging new economic environment.
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Research Article| February 01 2021
Timor-Leste in 2020: Counting the Costs of Coronavirus
Asian Survey (2021) 61 (1): 155–159.
Geoffrey C. Gunn; Timor-Leste in 2020: Counting the Costs of Coronavirus. Asian Survey 1 February 2021; 61 (1): 155–159. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/as.2021.61.1.155
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