Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste: Storms and floods Appeal No. MDRTP001 Final Report

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The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 185 countries.

In Brief

Period covered: 23 February 2006 to 28 February, 2007;

Final appeal coverage: 89%.

Appeal history:

- Emergency Appeal launched on 23 February 2006 for CHF 569,685 (USD 431,253 or EUR 364,016) to assist some 8,400 beneficiaries for six months.

- On 27 July, Operations Update no.3 extended the operations by three months to 30 November 2006 because of the recent civil unrest.

- Operations Update no.4 revised the budget to CHF 709,842 (report published on 9 October, reissued with revised budget on 6 November 2006) to align with positive response from donors.

- Through agreements with donors, the operation was further extended till the end of February 2006. Relevant donors also allowed the reallocation of a remaining balance (11% of the appeal) to the disaster management programme in the country's Appeal 2006-2007. This Final Report, therefore, covers the period of one year: 28 February 2006 to 28 February 2007.

- Disaster Relief Fund (DREF) issued and repaid: CHF 200,000 (USD 155,582 or EUR 128,663)

Background and summary

A series of storms and flooding from late December through January 2006 affected Timor-Leste, resulting insevere losses of livehood and shelters. Baucau, Ainaro, Maliana and Oe-cusse (an enclave) districts were badlyaffected by the strong winds and floods, resulting in damages to some 1,209 households comprising about 8,400people, and severe losses of livelihood, shelters and crops such as rice and corn. In Oe-cusse, about 100 deep wells were contaminated by floodwater, causing it to be unsuitable for human consumption. Health problems such asdiarrhea, malaria and dengue had been reported in some districts, particularly in Oe-cusse as a result of this disaster.

Cruz Vermelha de Timor- Leste (Timor-Leste Red Cross, CVTL) national headquarters took immediate action in responding to the storms and floods by deploying disaster management and health teams to conduct assessments. Water and sanitation teams were also mobilized to clean deep wells in the affected areas restore the availability of safe drinkable water for the affected communities.

Volunteers from the national headquarters and branches were mobilized to assist in the operation, while technical assistance was sought from the Federation country delegation. In response to the prevailing needs of the disaster situation in Timor Leste, the Federation Southeast Asia regional delegation, through its disaster management unit, selected a member of the regional disaster response team (RDRT) for a one-month mission to the country to assist in the operations and implementation of action plans.

In the third week of March 2006, around 591 soldiers from the Timor-Leste defense force were dismissed from service. The dismissed soldiers were from the western part of the country and had grievances over the alleged favored treatment of soldiers from the eastern part of Timor-Leste. The civil unrest which ensued caused significant delays in aspects of the programme's implementation. During the unrest, the CVTL had to shift its focus from this operation to help thousands of internally displaced people (IDP) fleeing their homes for safe camps. About 4,000 houses were burnt down. There were 78,000 IDPs in Dili and another 70,000 in the regions (one sixth of the population). The arrival of an Australian-led military mission, with support from Portugal, New Zealand, Malaysia and UN missions, improved the security situation and projects began to be implemented again.

Delays in programme implementation as a result of the security problems and bad weather in March and April postponed the delivery of materials to target communities. Subsequently, donors agreed to a two-month, then another two-months extension to this operation. Most activities were carried out after September 2006. The first assessment identified 284 families needing shelter materials and the second assessment in October 2006 established an additional 103 families needing assistance. Six deep wells in Oe-cusse were also identified as contaminated.

In the first week of December 2006, two districts namely Baucau and Manufahi were affected by strong winds. The CVTL deployed assessment teams comprised of volunteers and the Federation disaster management delegate to the affected areas to evaluate the situation. According to the assessment report, 87 families were identified as target families for the third distribution of shelter materials.

The emergency response was planned in coordination with the government and other agencies actively working in Timor-Leste. The government had provided initial assistance to the affected families in Ainaro and Oe-cusse by distributing food parcels. The World Food Programme (WFP) supported food distributions, while CVTL/Federation and another NGO supported the distribution of shelter materials, mosquito nets, water containers and the rejuvenation and rebuilding of new wells. The CVTL also mobilized volunteers from its national headquarters and branches to assist in the operation. In the meantime, logistic support was provided by the United Nations Officer in Timor-Leste (UNOTIL).

The Federation country delegation's technical assistance was instrumental in coordinating the response. The Federation Southeast Asia regional delegation deployed an RDRT member for a one-month mission in Timor-Leste to assist in the disaster operations and implementation of action plans.

The CVTL/Federation has completed all planned activities for the 2006 storms and flood programme and as the appeal was oversubscribed, funds were also used to cover damages caused by further strong winds in December 2006 and January 2007.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

Cruz Vermelha de Timor-Leste (Timor-Leste Red Cross): Isabel Amaral Guterres (secretary-general); email: sec-gen@cvtl.tp; Phone: +670.724.8963; Fax: +670.332.1688

Federation delegation in Timor-Leste: Warwick Inder (head of delegation); email: warwick.inder@ifrc.org; Phone: +670.723.1434; Fax: +670.332.2010

Federation Southeast Asia regional delegation in Thailand: Bekele Geleta (head of regional delegation); email: bekele.geleta@ifrc.org; phone: +66.2.661.8201; fax: +66.2.661.9322

Federation Secretariat in Geneva (Asia Pacific department): Sabine Feuglet (senior assistant); email: sabine.feuglet@ifrc.org; Phone: +41.22.730. 4349; Fax: +41.22.733.0395