Reporting Period: 22 April to 28 April 2021
This Situation Report complements the Timor-Leste Floods-Situation Report No.7 with details on the situation and needs of children and their mothers, and on actions taken by UNICEF as part of the UN’s humanitarian response.
Flooding and landslides have caused 41 fatalities and affected 31,337 households across Timor-Leste. Of those, 83% - or 25,928 households - are in Dili municipality. The Secretariat of State for Civil Protection estimates that there are still 3,925 temporarily displaced persons in 25 evacuation facilities across Dili.
On 27 and 28 April, two children died of suspected diarrheal disease and acute respiratory infection (ARI) in a flood-affected community in Dili.
UNICEF supported the provision of water to approximately 2,500 people, with a floating raft constructed to transport water to stranded communities whose water supply and access roads were cut off by the flood. In addition to psychosocial and learning activities for children, UNICEF initiated lifeskills based education (LSBE) for adolescents in 10 evacuation centres. Infant and young child feeding (IYCF) corners were set up by UNICEF and partners in 10 additional evacuation centres, bringing the total to 22.
Funding Overview and Partnerships
UNICEF needs 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. US$ 300,000 were received from the UNICEF Humanitarian Thematic Fund at global and regional level – a pooled, flexible multi-year fund supported by various donors that enables UNICEF to respond quickly to emergencies. 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 25 evacuation facilities in Dili municipality, where 3,925 people people – or 799 households – are temporarily sheltered. This is 2,163 people less compared to the last reporting period, as people are continuing 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 available in these communities.
There is a critical need for expanded access to clean and safe water and improved sanitation and hygiene. Two infants (aged 4 and 8 months) died due to suspected diarrheal disease and acute respiratory infection (ARI) in a flood-affected community on 27 and 28 April, which highlights the urgent need to provide health services for the most vulnerable. The provision of nutrition services, including screening and referral for severe/critical cases of malnutrition, is also a priority. There is an immediate need to address the psychosocial and learning needs of affected children and adolescents, and to provide learning materials to affected children and WASH rehabilitiation in schools affected by the floods.
The floods took place in the context of rising COVID-19 cases in Timor-Leste. On 28 April, the President renewed the State of Emergency for another 30 days. As of 28 April, there were 1,073 active cases of COVID-19, with a steep upward trend in new cases.