• Heavy rains across the country from 29 March to 4 April 2021 resulted in flash floods and landslides affecting all 13 municipalities in Timor-Leste to varying degrees, with the capital Dili and the surrounding low-lying areas the worst affected.
• The flooding and landslides have caused 41 fatalities and affected 28,734 households across the country. Of those, 90% - or 25,881 households - are in Dili municipality. The Secretariat of State for Civil Protection estimates that there are still 6,029 temporarily displaced persons in 30 evacuation facilities across Dili.
• UNICEF has expanded the child-friendly spaces to 13 evacuation centres, with 900 children benefitting from activities designed for psychosocial support so far. UNICEF also initiated learning activities for pre-school and basic education age children in 8 evacuation centres. UNICEF and partners also supported the government to establish infant and young child feeding (IYCF) corners in 5 additional evacuation centres bringing the total to 13 evacuation centres that promote IYCF practices.
Funding Overview and Partnerships
UNICEF appeals for US$ 2,060,000 to sustain provision of life-saving and immediate essential services for women and children in Timor-Leste. UNICEF has been able to respond rapidly thanks to US$ 100,000 in pre-positioned supplies funded by Denmark and the United Kingdom, and by repurposing regular resources to meet the immediate response needs. The Government of New Zealand provided US$ 400,000 for the flood response and continued efforts to combat COVID-19, along with supplies and equipment for immediate response to the needs of women and children, especially related to water and sanitation. A US$ 100,000 grant was received from the UNICEF Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. However, more resources are urgently needed to respond to humanitarian needs in the different sectors and throughout the country.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
Heavy rains across the country from 29 March to 4 April resulted in flash floods and landslides affecting all 13 municipalities to varying degrees, with the capital Dili and the surrounding low-lying areas the worst affected.
The latest official figures indicate a total of 30 evacuation facilities in Dili municipality, where 6,029 people people – or 1,194 households – are temporarily sheltered. This is 2,823 people less compared to the last reporting period, as people have started to return home. There is thus a need for both sustained essential services in the evacuation sites, and for assistance to affected communities, including critical food and non-food items, and ensuring that essential services and support are reestablished in these communities.
There is a critical need for expanded access to clean and safe water and improved sanitation and hygiene. With cases of diarrhea starting to be reported in the evacuation facilities, and given the impact of temporary displacement on food and nutrition security, providing mobile health and nutrtion services and establishing a referral system for severe/critical cases of malnutrition is a priority. There is also an immediate need to address the psychosocial and learning needs of affected children and adolescents, and provide learning materials and WASH materials to schools affected by the floods.
The floods took place in the context of rising COVID-19 cases in Timor-Leste. In view of the ongoing flood response, on 9 April the Government temporarily suspended the strict lockdown in Dili municipality. As of 21 April, there are 749 active cases of COVID-19. The risk of further spread of COVID-19 remains high.