Humanitarian Partnership Agreement (HPA) Agency Assessment on El Nino impacts in Timor-Leste as of February 2016

Report
from CARE, Caritas, Oxfam, Plan, World Vision
Published on 29 Feb 2016

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

In May 2015 a global El Nino event was declared, since this time the Humanitarian Partnership Agreement (HPA) agencies in Timor-Leste (CARE, Caritas, Oxfam, PLAN and World Vision) have been considering and raising awareness of the potential impacts in Timor-Leste.

The HPA agencies identified specific concerns given the challenging baseline situation in Timor-Leste:

  • 70% of the population rely on rain fed subsistence agriculture

  • 41% of the total population lives below the international poverty line

  • 50.2% of children under 5 are stunted and 37.7 underweight

This report aims to provide a snapshot of the impacts of El Nino across Timor-Leste in February 2016.

With this information, Government, the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), HPA agencies and other stakeholders can work together to deliver assistance now where it is most needed in the short term, improve monitoring systems to provide early warnings in future, and work together to promote resilient communities able to respond to the shocks and disasters that are part of rural life in Timor-Leste.
Delays to the start of the annual wet season (normally November / December) triggered an HCT rapid assessment supported by HPA members to be undertaken in Liquica in December 2015. This found evidence of El Nino impacts. Based on the preliminary findings and awareness of possible impacts caused by late rains across Timor-Leste the HPA agencies instigated this multi-sectoral assessment which was carried out in February 2016. . The assessment was also supported by the National Directorate for Disaster Management (NDMD), Caritas and Child Fund.

The Humanitarian Partnership Agreement (HPA) is the formal mechanism for engagement between the Australian Government’s Overseas Development Agency (formally AusAID now DFAT) and selected accredited Australian NGOs to respond to humanitarian emergencies. HPA also provides a mechanism for collaboration on disaster management capacity building initiatives, implemented by these NGOs and in this case developed and initiated this Harmonised Needs Assessment (HNA) activity with support from the Ministry of Social Solidarity (National Disaster Management Directorate) and with consultation with the Ministry of the Interior.

This assessment was a rapid multi-sectoral assessment utilising 254 household surveys and 36 focus group discussions in 18 Aldeias in 8 Districts Municipalities / Regions1 to collect information from communities across Timor-Leste.

The assessment locations were determined by the project locations of HPA and other partner agency projects in Administrative Posts and thus may not have always targeted the Aldeia worst affected by El Nino in each area. Therefore the analysis does not present the information by Sucos, or Administrative Posts. Rather, data collectors’ assessment, field observation and data analysis was utilised to divide the target area into less impacted and worse impacted locations.