'Little to be seen' for Timor aid
A group monitoring the foreign aid given to East Timor since it claimed independence 10 years ago says little has been achieved with the aid.
The group claims most of the estimated $10 billion has been spent on international salaries, administration, and imports.
Australia is East Timor's largest donor and gives the country $100 million each year in aid, and the Federal Government is adamant it is not being wasted.
East Timor's vice prime minister, Mario Carrascalao, says the country is making progress and in spite of some of the hiccups, the international community has helped create peace in his country.
"They succeeded at least to get Timor Leste to a position that we can say we're proud that this is one of the country's with the lowest per cepita crime in the world now," he said.
But he says if $10 billion has been spent in East Timor there should be more signs of prosperity.
"If you look to the roads, the roads are the same that have been left by Indonesia," he said.
"But I don't see that beside peace and security that we have in East Timor ... even the administration, the UN did not produce the people with enough skills that we need to run independence."
Lut Hamutuk, an organisation that monitors aid in East Timor, estimates only 10 per cent of foreign aid ends up in East Timor's economy.
East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta says he too is concerned that too much aid money is not going to the East Timorese.
"A lot of aid money came into East Timor, really," he said.
"You ask Australia, you ask the Japanese whether - what percentage of this money they claim to allocate to Timor every year, they spent in East Timor, or on dubious studies, evaluations, reports, more studies, more evaluations, more reports, telling us the obvious.
"A recent report from the World Bank assessing poverty in East Timor from 2001 to 2006-2007 concluded that the poverty increased. Well, but the World Bank itself should asked what have we done here in this country?"
During the recent anniversary celebrations, the president thanked Australia for its contributions to East Timor.
Australia's overseas aid agency AusAid says East Timor is now peaceful and that is a key sign Australia's aid has had a positive impact.
It also says Australia is helping to build the foundations for a strong and stable economy in East Timor and for a vibrant democracy.
A spokesman for the United Nations mission in East Timor says they are a peacekeeping mission that is accountable to the General Assembly for its budgets.
It says there have been very real results because the situation in East Timor is peaceful and calm.