Cruz Vermelha de Timor-Leste (known as CVTL) is the Red Cross of Timor-Leste. It was established in 2000 to address the needs of vulnerable people and to provide emergency response. It is formally recognised by the Timor-Leste Government in a Decree Law (2005) which also protects use of its emblem. In 2005 CVTL was recognised as the 183rd member of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. (See Appendix One for DECREE-LAW NO. 6/2005 OF 14 SEPTEMBER RECOGNITION OF THE TIMOR-LESTE RED CROSS).

CVTL is Timor-Leste’s leading humanitarian organisation and works as an auxiliary to Government in emergency response and for vulnerable communities within Timor-Leste. It has branches in all 13 districts and operates programmes nationally.  


Volunteers are the heart of CVTL - volunteers are recruited from local communities to deliver most services. CVTL works in partnership with communities.


CVTL receives some funding from other Red Cross Red Crescent partners but also must raise its own funds within Timor-Leste. Each branch raises some money to help fund its operational costs.  


CVTL is governed by its members, who elect 13 branch boards and one national governing board. All board members are volunteers.


CVTL's vision is to save lives and improve the quality of life of vulnerable people. Its work includes:


Emergency Response - Volunteer disaster response teams in all 13 branches and at national level help people when there is a natural disaster. Working in coordination with Government, CVTL teams assess the situation and distribute relief items. All branches have emergency stocks of non-food items: family kits, tarpaulins, blankets, etc. Branch volunteers are also trained in emergency health and work with the government on prevention campaigns (for example on Dengue Fever and Malaria) and vaccination programs.

Water and Sanitation – CVTL provides technical assistance and materials to help vulnerable communities to construct water systems and latrines.

Health Promotion – CVTL trains and provides basic equipment (like mosquito nets) for disease prevention and education on hygiene and nutrition, and helps to change behaviour for a healthier life.    

Disaster preparedness and risk reduction   - CVTL assists communities at risk from natural disasters such as flooding, landslides and strong winds with training, evacuation planning and some prevention (for example planting trees).

Livelihoods – CVTL assists communities to find ways to support themselves or make a small income with some basic equipment and training in agriculture techniques, community gardens, food processing, weaving, etc.  

First Aid – CVTL provides basic training and services to communities, volunteers and government and at special events. CVTL also offers First Aid training courses to individuals and organisations for a fee, which helps to fund CVTL’s work.


HIV / AIDS prevention - CVTL works with people at risk of HIV infection through outreach and a peer education programme.

Dissemination – CVTL promotes the fundamental principles and ideals of the Red Cross, the role of CVTL and International Humanitarian Law to communities, armed services, government, etc.


Tracing – CVTL restores family links and reconnects people separated from their families following conflict or natural disaster.

Youth – CVTL offers programmes to encourage and enable young people to participate in and contribute to their communities, including healthy living, leadership programmes, and road safety.