Interministerial meeting to analyze the response to natural disasters

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Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak led today, June 22, 2020, a meeting of the interministerial commission set up to respond to the impacts of natural disasters in Timor-Leste in recent months.

The main objectives of the meeting were to discuss the interventions already undertaken and to ensure the coordination of planned and already ongoing measures, in the response to the damage caused by natural disasters and their impact on the population.

At the meeting, the Minister of State Administration, Miguel Pereira de Carvalho, as coordinator of the interministerial commission, gave an update on the support already given to victims of natural disasters.

Next, the Secretary of State for Protection, Alexandrino de Araújo, presented in detail the data referring to the support already given to the affected population.

In October 2019, 2,979 families were affected by the fires and strong winds that ravaged the municipalities of Ainaro, Aileu, Bobonoro, Ermera and Liquiça. The affected population received a total support of US$933,806 in food, non-food equipment and construction materials.

The Secretary of State also presented the data on the response to the floods of January and February in the Municipality of Dili and the support provided for the recovery of the fire occurred, on March 1 at the College of Maliana.

Regarding the March 13 floods, which affected 4,681 families in the city of Dili, the Secretariat of State provided food, non-food and building materials worth $1,516,850.

A total of 2,194 families from the municipalities of Baucau, Covalima, Lautém, Manatuto, Manufahi and Viqueque received emergency support of US$450,000 to cope with the impacts of floods, landslides and strong winds that ravaged the eastern tip and southern coast of the country.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Social Solidarity and Inclusion, Armanda Berta dos Santos, also detailed the support given to the population by the Ministry in coordination with other Ministries and organizations for the response to victims of natural disasters.

The Minister of Public Works, Salvador Soares dos Reis Pires, presented the data on the interventions that have already been carried out, or that are underway and the respective supply processes, in response to the impacts of the floods that occurred last 13 março, in the city of Dili. These measures aim to restore road mobility, to provide electricity safely and ensure the repair of damaged water supply systems, and, above all, to carry out urgent work on cleaning drains, normalising and desilting of streams and construction of retaining walls. The Minister also presented the data on the rehabilitation projects of roads and bridges of the South Coast of the country, affected by the floods of May 2020.

The Prime Minister concluded the meeting by welcoming the efforts of the various ministries to respond rapidly to the effects of natural disasters and also stressed the need to create an integrated study to improve the planning and implementation of national infrastructure projects so that they can be more resistant to natural disasters.