This Situation Report complements the Timor-Leste Floods-Situation Reports 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 33,177 households across Timor-Leste. Of those, 83% - or 27,622 households - are in Dili municipality. The Secretariat of State for Civil Protection estimates that there are still 3,012 temporarily displaced persons in 17 evacuation facilities across Dili.
Amidst a surge in COVID-19 cases, the lockdown in Dili, that had been temporality suspended to facilitate the humanitarian flood response, resumed on 30 April.
UNICEF continued to support the mobile health clinic and the provision of clean water in Tasi Tolu, Dili municipality, as well as psychosocial and learning activities for children, and life-skills based education (LSBE) for adolescents, in evacuation centres. As families return home, preparations are underway for the transition to community-based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support.
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 17 evacuation facilities in Dili municipality, where 3,012 people – or 611 households – are temporarily sheltered.
This is 913 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 to ensure access to clean and safe water, including water treatment measures at community and/or household levels, improved sanitation and hygiene, as well as the provision of 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, and the lockdown in Dili municipality that had been temporarily suspended after the floods was reinstated from 30 April. A sanitary fence is in place in 9 of the country’s 13 municipalities, including Dili, thus limiting the movement of people. As of 6 May, there were 1,315 active cases of COVID-19.