ChildFund Responds to Flooding in East Timor:
Thanks to nearly NZD $155,000 from New Zealand's Disaster Response Partnership programme, ChildFund will reach 2,000 vulnerable people in Timor-Leste
On Easter Sunday, torrential rainfall in Timor-Leste resulted in widespread flash flooding and landslides in the nation’s capital of Dili, as well as surrounding areas. ChildFund is responding to flooding in East Timor.
While the floods hit the capital Dili and the surrounding low-lying areas, worst of all, all 13 municipalities were affected. A total of 21,165 households have been affected, of which 19,412 households are in Dili. 4,384 houses have reportedly been destroyed or damaged. As at 22 April, 4,655 people are still temporarily sheltered in 30 evacuation facilities. 39 fatalities (including 11 who are still missing and presumed dead) have been recorded.
This natural disaster comes at a time when the country is already dealing with a COVID-19 emergency. Critical infrastructure to respond to the COVID outbreak is damaged, including the national laboratory, the central medicine storage and quarantine facilities.
With children and families living in evacuation centres, there is also an increased risk of COVID transmission.
Erine Dijkstra, ChildFund Timor-Leste country director, says: “This is an emergency coming on top of an emergency. Affected families were already suffering economically from the lockdown since the beginning of March, and this disaster has added another level of hardship.
“With much of Dili under water, Timor-Leste is facing new and significant challenges in preventing further spread of the COVID-19 virus.”
But, thanks to support from MFAT's Disaster Response Partnership programme, ChildFund will reach nearly 2,000 people in Timor-Leste with the following activities:
- Distributing non-food items to 350 families (hygiene kits, dignity kits, blankets, toys and learning packs)
- Distributing education packs to 1,050 children
- Establishing child-safe spaces for children aged 3 to 12
- Conducting parenting sessions to support child learning and protection
- Conducting training for tutors on child-friendly spaces and child protection